(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 2/25/2014)
It is unfortunate, but most of the world seems to get their information about legal proceedings in the United States from what is transmitted over the air. ( Television and Radio).
However, these programs frequently distort reality, choosing to depict subject matter in the most shocking and emotional way that will bring in the highest ratings. Often, this does not reflect the issues that will actually influence the lives of all Americans.
The following articles will address a few misconceptions about this essential, but often misunderstood part of life in the U.S.
- The Jury system is designed to weed out the Racist, Bigot, Irrational etc. In other words, anyone who cannot render a fair and unbiased verdict.
This may have been the goal, but in practice it is entirely untrue. Peremptory Challenges that remove
prospective jurors without cause, Companies who specialize in researching the type of juror who will be predisposed to decide a certain way, and there being no evaluation to ensure that a juror is sound of mind, are just a few ways that send the concept of a truly impartial jury into the realm of mythology. In fact, many criminal attorneys are evaluated by the ability to pick a jury that sympathizes with their case, even before a single word of testimony.
The above are the results of a system that is not designed to seek out truth above all else, but to encourage competition between two opponents, with the winner "Having the best game plan."
This leads us into part two, THE ADVOCATE.