Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Pilot Program Takes Off

The Commercial Appeal reports today about a pilot program started by the Tennessee Supreme Court to allow jurors to ask questions of witnesses, and the judge, during trials. Direct questions, unmediated. The story reports favorably on the results. It's a worthwhile read, especially for those who believe that the jury has long been disabused and diminished in America's courtrooms.

Quick -- who's the most important person in the courtroom? Right, the defendant. But who has the real power? The judge? Wrong. Judges were intended to be no more than referees. Juries are the real power in the courtroom. Few Americans even realize that juries can find any result they want, regardless of the evidence (as the OJ Simpson jury showed) and that they can also find innocence if they believe the prosecution to be malicious or unjust, or rule on the law itself, if they so desire. Few folks understand the absolute power given to juries by our Founders.

Today's story is a good first step back in the proper direction.

You can read more here and here.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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