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No Doubt March 9, 2008

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Ethics.
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This is interesting but troubling. In criminal trials, juries are supposed to convict only if the evidence suggests the defendent is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Apparently, there is empirical data indicating that jurors are far too willing to settle for a lesser standard–guilty given the preponderance of the evidence. When jurors think it is more likely than not that a defendant is guilty they are willing to convict, except when other jurors speak up and argue for the not guilty verdict.

Mark Kleinam identifies the problem with this:  “Note the scary implication: twelve jurors, each of whom thinks that someone is probably, but not certainly, guilty will tend to find that person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

No wonder we have so many false convictions. That makes the work of The Innocence Project vital if our legal system is to function properly.

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Comments»

1. Nina Rosenstand - March 16, 2008

Very disturbing. The bottom line is probably the lack of training in distinguishing between evidence and emotional arguments. And let’s not forget the utterly unattractive implications of being on a jury: lost work time, little compensation, high parking fees, and a huge responsibility–meaning that folks who know the difference between rational and emotional arguments can usually find a way to avoid being on a jury, unless they feel they have a civic duty (which I can relate to), or would really like to get off work for a while–or have an interest in being on a particular jury, and manage to hide their personal issues in voir dire. So there are several layers of reasons for false or flawed convictions (and the same thing goes for unreasonable acquittals, of course). And here we’re just talking about the problems of jurors…

2. Forrest Noble - March 21, 2008

Hey Nina, you’re a pretty girl, saw your picture on the Mesa, what’s up?

I’ve seen your threads. Pretty smart too! I’ve been on juries. Big for the ego, despite lost work, compensation is meaningless, parking fees not much, responsibility? If your smarter than most you’ll have fun, at least I did. I much prefer unreasonable acquittals to unreasonable convictions, like most I think. Of course as the thread suggests when I’m not on the jury the poor crimanal defendants have much less of a chance. Too bad. contact me.
forrest_forrest@netzero.net

your friend forrest

3. Humbert Humbert - March 24, 2008

Talk about “very disturbing”! Forrest, try Match.com

4. Nina Rosenstand - March 29, 2008

Hey Forrest,
I hope that was supposed to be a compliment, and not a sexist throwback…I choose to think positive, so thanks. But…I haven’t been called a girl in years. And certainly not on the job, and to my face. And when I’m blogging, I am in a professional mode. So let’s have a bit of decorum and respect, okay? Let’s keep the comments relevant.

5. Charlette Lin - March 30, 2008

…that’s rather creepy… (referring to Forrest’s post)
Anyway…

It seems to me that many roles in this world are fulfilled by people who are less than qualified to fill them.

Driving is probably one of the easier things in the world to do (the hardest part is to pay attention because it’s so simple), and yet people need to take tests and get a license before being allowed to drive.

However, other more important roles don’t need any sort of license or proof of education on the matter. People don’t have to know anything about how to raise a child to have a baby. People don’t need to know anything about the presidential candidates before voting for them.

…not that I’m providing a method on how to change things like that.

6. forrest noble - March 30, 2008

Nina,

Yes, it was a compliment. But I did return to the thread regarding jury duty. Usually follow proper decorum but once in a while, on rare occasions, I tend to mix it up a bit, usually with the intent of wit, humor or philosophy.

Haven’t been called creepy either for a while, referring to Ms. Lin’s comments above. It is true that few have called me boring, at least to my face. I’m a theorist and logician by trade. Have found a lot of interesting conversations on this web-site, which have interested me on a regular basis.

I originally came into this site August of 07 regarding the blog Is the Big Bang a Bust? But only saw it at the tail end of the discussion where I ended up talking to myself. Live in L.A. but go down to San Diego and La Mesa often consulting with my book editor down there.
Will usually try to stay on thread,

your friend forrest

7. forrest noble - March 30, 2008

Nina,

Yes, it was a compliment. But I did return to the thread regarding jury duty. Usually follow proper decorum but once in a while, on rare occasions, I tend to mix it up a bit, usually with the intent of wit, humor, psychology or philosophy.

Haven’t been called creepy either for a while, referring to Ms. Lin’s comments above. It is true that few have called me boring, at least to my face. I’m a theorist and logician by trade. Have found a lot of interesting conversations on this web-site, which have interested me on a regular basis.

I originally came onto this site August of 07 regarding the blog “Is the Big Bang a Bust?” But only saw it at the tail end of the discussion where I ended up talking to myself. Live in L.A. but go down to San Diego and La Mesa often consulting with my book editor down there.
Will usually try to stay on thread,

your friend forrest

8. forrest noble - March 30, 2008

Sorry don’t know why my comment was engaged twice. Please ignore.
forrest

9. Nina Rosenstand - April 1, 2008

Forrest,
Keep commenting, glad to have you with us. And humor is a fine thing, at the right time and place, according to Aristotle. But from the comments above you can tell that some of us found elements of your contribution above to be out of place. ‘Nuff said, blog on!


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