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The Courts

Submission + - To be, or Not be a Juror? 2

An anonymous reader writes: This morning, I filled my civic duty for the courts and went to Jury Duty at the requesting Courthouse. This being the 2nd time, I went in with a bit more confidence as it's been several years since I was last summoned, and have a bit more experience in life under my belt. During the Prosecutors questioning, I found myself deconstructing her arguments, and reasoning to their logical position and appeal. And in the process, mentally belittling her for the positions she chose to summon. During the Defense Attorney's questioning, I found he had brought up valid points about reasonable doubt, personal choice and freedoms, giving obviousness to the positions he was going to take during the trial.

This particular case dealt with a Class B marijuana possession charge of any 'usable amount'. Now, personally, I am completely against the law with which the case was about. When specifically asked about it by the prosecutor, since I was in one of the 'hot-seats', I stated I preferred it be decriminalized, citing the current UK policies about confiscation and ticketing practices. When later asked to elaborate I instructed them I would be biased against the law given the nature of this particular case, since I did not agree with the law at all. Shortly after this, despite the Defense Attorney's willingness to gladly put me on the jury, the Judge agreed with the Prosecutor and I was dismissed.

During the later questioning, specifically with regard to a police officers testimony over that of the accused, the rest of the potential panel stated they would put more confidence in the officer than that of a layman. It was pretty obvious to me, which way things were slightly leaning for the accused, even this early in the trial. Looking back now, I wonder if it had been better if I'd gone along and played the unbias card, reserving my personal feeling about such matters, and possibly get picked to be a juror. My questions to slashdot are: Is it better to put yourself out there, voice your opinions while in the jury pool or put your convictions aside, and render yourself available to the courts? Also, is it better for the courts and the public for someone like me to have those opinions about the law, hold them back and possibly be picked as a juror, knowing full well that the phrase 'jury nullification' exists, and if the case called for it, would be more than willing to bring it up? What is the best recourse for MY cause, in a situation like this?

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