Guns of Infinity



Perhaps but at least what was emphasized to me as a panelist was that it was not my job to interpret the law. The judge was there to answer any doubts we had about what the law meant or was actually requiring of us. Our role was to listen to the evidence and determine if the prosecution’s case proved guilt on each count. We had a further role to sentence once we convicted but that’s peculiar to a court martial.

Determining my biases and their potential impact on the trial was really the judge and the lawyer’s role. That is why you go through jury selection. The defense has the right to dismiss any juror that they can convince the judge is biased. And they could dismiss up to three of us for no reason at all.

I mean saying we could all be better critical thinkers is kind of a universal good. I’m not sure I’d want my jury to be the most educated people in society for example. Since as the accused you only need one juror to hold out I’d think you’d want as diverse a jury as you can get.


That depends on a subjective definition of diverse, and what case you’re dealing with. If I’m dealing with say, the case of a police officer on trial shooting a black man without cause (which seems depressingly common these days), I would hardly want even one of those jurors to be an inveterate racist in the name of diversity of opinion.


Yeah sure and a judge would dismiss anyone that implied they had negative feelings against the race of the accused during selection. I’m not a trial lawyer but in the trial I participated in the defense wanted to make sure they had a variety of ranks and ethnicities on the planel as an example. The chance that one of us would have a difference of opinion from the others and either not convict or sentence lighter would theoretically be higher was the thought process I believe.


But how do you find that out? Obviously the accused will either try to say she consented or deny that it happened at all, whereas the accuser will claim that she did not consent. That’s the complicated part - trying to piece together what actually happened with limited or non-existent evidence. And the evidence is extremely easy to forge because it comes almost entirely from eyewitness accounts or DNA samples (the latter can easily be obtained from normal consensual sex. Alternatively, there have been a number of cases where false-accusers resorted to some outright disturbing means to collect these samples from the target in advance and then submit them as “evidence”)

“I’m more concerned with institutional problems than other institutional problems that aren’t the problem I am concerned with.”

But you’re the one brushing other groups aside. I have never denied that rape occurs. I have never denied its severity. I have not claimed I am unsympathetic to rape victims.

You, on the other hand, when faced with the fact that sometimes rape victims aren’t actually victims and are lying, simply dismiss it. You say you’re “very unsympathetic” (just to clarify, “unsympathetic” means “zero sympathy” even if there is a “very” in front of it) to the wrongfully accused, and when confronted with the fact that what you just said is absolutely horrible, your response is basically “Yep, I know I’m terrible. So what?”

You know what happens when someone is falsely convicted of rape, but your response has been “I don’t care” or “I’m more concerned with this issue”, or “it doesn’t happen that often” and those are textbook examples of brushing an argument/problem aside.


@cataphak &/or others

After Cunaris was wounded at Blogia, who and how was he extracted him from the battlefield? Did the NCO’s and Wagar do this?


Hmm…I’m not so certain these sorts of entrenched structures are very hard to break and even if you do new and equally bad ones tend to pop up again after a few years.

I find it fascinating, but sadly due to the quirks of our legal system my own experience with juries and lay judges is mostly theoretical except for a couple of moot court sessions during some elective courses.


From the Welles Report
"Cunaris himself was most grievously injured by an Antari lance, and only rescued from capture or death by the desperate attempts of his remaining staff officers."


I do think that

and show neither approval nor favor (“no sympathy”) to your statement where you said you don’t like statements like Cataphrak’s (or mine following it).

I am not going to change my mind that this is a bigger deal and more damaging because you took me saying “Finding examples of this doesn’t mean it’s normal.” as proof of me being horribly callous.

I know that I’m a flawed person who is very much capable of being awful. Telling me that you think that about me because:

is something you don’t like or agree with just doesn’t have a lot of weight

“What’s your point? I don’t think you have the right of it in the actual discussion, and I’m not very upset that you don’t have a high opinion of me.”, basically.

It’s like trying to make me feel bad for liking art of anthropomorphized wolves - I’m not swayed by the opinions of those who would hold that as another failing of mine, and it’s not going to actually do any good to claim otherwise.


I think this is a big reason why our Belgian neighbours use juries only in criminal cases. The other would be money as I’ve been taught that the reason they abolished juries in civil cases early on was that they were often found to be too generous with the state’s (and some rich people’s) money.


It’s the same thing in Canada, although they’re actually even more rare, being only available for cases that might involve five or more years of jail time, which means it’s extremely rare to be called up for jury duty up here, in my experience.


Five years is rare in Canada?


Well our criminal justice system could certainly use its own comprehensive reforms at this point (much like most of the Western world’s institutions these days it seems). And for what it is worth I would be for more involvement of lay persons, though preferably as lay judges then “12 angry men”, like I’ve said before.

So you’ve never had the pleasure either, eh? Though again jurists are the potential jurors most likely to be dismissed without cause in both Belgium and the US it seems. It seems in some US states and Belgium defense attorneys and prosecutors are prohibited from even being called up in the first place altogether. :disappointed:

Despite being rightly sanctioned by the European Court of Human Rights about our notorious life without parole sentences it is actually fairly rare here too. The prosecution most often demands between 6 months to 4 years in most cases, all things considered. The media may like to paint a different picture, but then they focus only on the extraordinary or the scandalous, not the mundane.


… I don’t even remember the last time someone here only got 5 years.


Distorting effects of the media, or grim statistics @Jjcb ?


@Cataphrak and @cascat07, I think the greatest flaw in the US jury system is that the jury has the power to nullify. Meaning that the jury seeing that the defendant is 100% guilty but decides otherwise to find them innocent. And the worse part is that a ‘not guilty’ verdict from a jury cannot be appealed. While there is still debate about jury nullification, the fact that it can lead a guilty person to walk free for a crime they did is enough for this provision to be removed.

Fortunately in my home country, judges and assessors decide whether a defendant is guilty and the verdict can always be appealed. I think if we are serious about justice, I think a jury must be held to the same standards as a judge and must provide reasons of why they reached a certain verdict. And those reasons must be reasonable.


In theory it can also be used to pressure for justice reforms against abominable laws, such as during US prohibition for example and honestly the “war on drugs” could have used more nullification if you ask me. Few enough Americans and thus prospective jurors today even know they have the power and those that do can I believe be kicked for cause in at least some US states.


Isn’t this a desirable thing? It’s theoretically possible here in the UK too, but obviously it’s rare. The whole point of trial by jury is that that your peers judge your guilt based on the evidence. Guilt doesn’t equal commited the act. There are plenty of cases where someone explicitly did what they are accused of, but extenuating circumstances can alllow the jury to find them not guilty, jury nullification is a great tool for those cases.


In theory, would you not say that giving a leader absolute power can lead to good? For example, we can imagine a case of a kind president who is for the people uses their powers to elevate the plight of the poor. For example, Cypus the Great is said to have abolished slavery in his empire. Now from that, would you advocate for absolute monarchy or absolute powers of a leader?

I think not. Just because jury nullification can lead to good, such as protecting those from unjust laws, does not mean it is good. It can protect guilty parties such as lynch mobs to be protected from persecution. Just how absolute power can be used for tyrannical acts. When it comes to practice, you get the OJ Simpson case or the Bundy brothers (

Are you saying for example that if the prosecution had video evidence of a person killing another innocent man, that it would be okay for the jury to disregard the evidence and find them 'Not Guilty". The fact that it is rare is irrelevant, the jury should not have that power in the first place.How is it better than mob justice? Sometimes our peers can be bigots and are fallible.

I am not saying that there should not be a jury system. My problem is that the jury is not accountable to anyone. The fact you cannot appeal a “Not Guilty” verdict, at least in the US, when there is overwhelming evidence of guilt flies in the face of justice.


Let me give you an example of what @CottonWolf might be talking about.

A father has a daughter who is suffering from a crippling illness. She is in constant pain, is unable to physically or mentally function, and will never be cured. The father then reluctantly kills her, as quickly and painlessly as possible, and then turns himself in.

The jury then decides that given the circumstances, the father should get a reduced sentence. He isn’t let off the hook completely, but the sentence is nowhere near as long as that of a murderer.

I heard this story a few years ago, back when I was taking Law in high school. I might have forgotten a few details.

Now, whether the father was justified is definitely a matter for debate. I personally think he went too far, but understand why he did it. The jury ruled in his favor despite the judge’s wishes, but did not let him off the hook completely.

Cotton was NOT saying that it’s okay for someone to shoot a completely innocent man for no reason and get let off the hook. If the man who was shot brutally assaulted his loved one or did something awful to him personally, then the jury would take that into consideration when passing the sentence. If it was a perfectly innocent man who did no wrong, then they have no reason to be lenient towards the killer.

Anyways, both judges and juries have their pros and cons. That’s why it’s better to have them together, so they can balance each other out.


I know that he was not saying that it is okay for someone to kill a completely innocent man and be let off the hook. I am interesting on whether a jury SHOULD have the power to let a killer off the hook, for whatever reason. Jury nullification gives that power to a jury. And you CANNOT appeal a “Not Guilty” verdict even if there is overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing.

I am not denying a jury can be lenient on people for good reason, for example escaped slaves were protected from going back to their slave-owners. But the very same power gives a jury power to be lenient on lynchers by giving a “Not Guilty” verdict such as the time in the Deep South.

Therefore, juries should not have the power of nullification because it can (and sometimes is) abused. I am NOT advocating for the ABOLISHMENT of the jury system, just JURY NULLIFICATION.