If you live in the United States, one of your constitutional rights as a defendant is a right to trial by jury. Today was my 20th time in 28 years of fulfilling my civic duty as a juror. The reason I don't get called every year is when I am picked for multi day cases, they usually do not send another summons for three years. So far so good, right? Well, while in the jury waiting room, there is nothing but time to think. And all I could think about is what a farce the whole deal really is. Let me explain. The judge is a professional. The lawyers, professional. The court clerk, the sheriff deputies, on and on, all professionals. Me, as a lay person, have NO CLUE as to what the law is or what is pertinent during trial and note worthy. IN NO OTHER service of ANY kind, would you see someone who has not been trained. Would you go to a doctor who is not a professional? Of course not. Hell, even the kid at the McDonalds has been trained to use the equipment and how to make a burger the right way. My point is, there should be 'professional jurors' whose full time is to be jurors. They would be learned in the law. Deliberate intelligently on the facts presented. Come to a fair and impartial decision. I have served on four juries. And twice I felt the verdict reached was wrong but was swayed by other jurors. Did I just want to home because it was late or it was the fourth day? I dont know. I do feel that I am wholly unqualified for such an important task.
How about you? Ever serve on a jury? Is it better to have a jury or a judge trial?