Professional Juries: I Still Don't Think So...
KipEsquire of A Stitch in Haste takes issue with my opposition to professional juries. He seems to believe that my position is circular. In his words: "professional jurors would be bad because they would be professional jurors, which is bad."
Not at all.
Professional jurors would be bad because they would not be jurors (as the Founding Generation understood the term), which would be bad.
Professional jurors would be, by definition, a panel of specially trained and experienced government employees.
Jurors are, by definition, lay members of the general public.
Thus, the term "professional jurors" is an oxymoron. An oxymoron, as we all know, is an extremely large moron. Which is exactly how we can expect professional jurors to behave: like extremely large morons, i.e., bureaucrats.
What Kip and others fail to address is the difference between JUROR incompetence and ATTORNEY incompetence. We attorneys tend to assume that if the jury didn't understand something, it is their fault.
Perhaps if we presented our cases more coherently, deliberately, and thoughtfully, juries would understand what we are talking about.
The best lawyers never seem to complain about incompetent juries. The Gerry Spences, Dick DeGuerins, Tony Serras, Tom Mesereaus, etc., always seem to have much smarter juries than the average lawyers.
Those juries understand every word these lawyers and their witnesses say. What brilliant, insightful jurors they must get!
When we fix the wrong problems, we employ the wrong solutions.