A Conversation for Talking Point: Trial by Jury


Post 1


I have read some of the entries regarding the jury system with interest.

There seems to be a preconception amongst certain people that juries from "lower" social classes would mean less intelligent jurors.

I would simply like to say that I was born in Glasgow, in a council housing estate. Regardless, my siblings and I are amongst the most educated people I know. The state education system gave us a start and we educated ourselves over and above that, every day of our lives.

I am better educated, better read and have a better grasp of grammar than most people I know. That includes many people from very different social spheres in life.

My children are privately educated - and I am well aware that private education is better than state funded education (yes I do mean Better since I don't believe in being politically correct). However, education is not to be confused with intelligence.

Certain persons would like to believe that because a person receives a quality education that makes them intelligent, wise, and a cut above the rest.

In fact, many people are lucky enough to receive a quality education which makes not the slightest dent on their various inadequacies. A quality education can certainly improve on a person's ignorance - but it cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

My point is this. Amongst the plumbers, labourers, taxi-drivers and even the unemployed are many naturally intelligent people. They may not have had the advantages to turn them into lawyers and doctors, but if you assume all working class people are less intelligent simply because of their "station" in life - then it is you who are stupid and allowing your prejudices to make your own life more difficult.

While it is true that there are not many "stupid" lawyers, there are many ignorant and wicked ones. I do not believe you should place your trust in the upper classes any more than in the middle or upper classes.

If you must have a jury based only on certain criteria - and I am not saying you should - base it on intelligence - not class.


Post 2


Of course that should have read "any more than in the middle and lower classes".


Post 3

the third man(temporary armistice)n strike)

I think that 'balance' is more important than 'intelligence'. Even now rhere are some people who are so severely biased against certain groups that the defendants chance of a fair trial is strongly impaired. The jury should be non-racist, non-sexist and without a class bias. To me that is the basis of a fair jury.

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