Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Constitution, Section 29

Section 29 - Jurors

29(1) No individual shall be compelled to serve as a juror.
This is the right to liberty as applied to juries. The right to a jury trial does not translate to a right to compel someone to be a juror.

29(2) Invitations to jury service shall be generated at random from the list of in-State citizens with voting rights in the jurisdiction in which the offence took place.
This is tied with the right to have the trial itself in the state where the offence took place or the controversy arose. Again, same-state trials and juries are good practice for justice because of valid cultural differences between states and hence of the particulars that constitute reasonable expectations.

29(3) Jurors shall be accorded an equal amount of compensation for attendance at trial such as will entice a reasonably-sized array of suitable candidates, as the Legislature of that jurisdiction shall provide for and pay in the first instance out of its Just Compensation Fund.
The only just way to make jury service a reasonable proposition for potential jurors that are reasonably expected to be sufficiently competent is to make it financially worthwhile for at least some considerable portion of the generally reasonable population. In practice that’s going to mean the payments will be a notable (but not great) amount above the national average income, in order to make it worthwhile for the older and more experienced people who are apt to be earning above-average incomes. Under the presumption of a reasonable populace that implements this Constitution, the discovery of what’s appropriate here is best left to the legislature of the day so that the relevant concretes of the day can be included in determination of juror recompense.

The payments are ‘in the first instance’ because at the outcome of a trial the costs are going to be levied upon those who were convicted in a criminal trial or found liable in a civil trial. Any shortfall from the actual receipts from these levies are to be covered by the fund itself, which is refilled by receipts from other trials plus fines from other infractions and the like, plus occasionally a top-up from the relevant government’s treasury if required.

29(4) All jurors who, in their capacity as jurors, do not knowingly act in ways as the Reasonable Person could see beyond reasonable doubt are either contrary to fact or otherwise intended to pervert the course of justice shall be immune from question arising from whatever verdict they give.
A critical part of a system of checks and balances is that jurors should be at least mostly immune from harassment by the government when they make a finding that the government doesn’t want. The only exception to that is when it is as clear as day that a juror was deliberately unjust.


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