Jury Duty

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Sandy
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Sandy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:27 am

No way I'd ever do it. Not even remotely comfortable with being forced to decide on the imprisonment of someone when all I'm given is some selective evidence that someone I don't know has presented to me.

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Karl_ » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:38 am

Drumstick wrote:So if there was evidence of a serious crime, that was absolutely concrete with no wiggle room whatsoever for the defendant, you'd deny the victim justice?

[...]His actual wording was "Man, I just don't think I could convict someone.". Even then it was with the disclaimer that he might be able to only if was the most serious of crimes.

I mean, I'm happy to answer questions, but the point of my post was that I don't have solid answers to them.

I think a justice system should exert the minimum force required to protect the rights of ordinary people. I think our present justice system fails in a few ways. 1. I don't believe a centralised state is good even in theory at solving the monopoly-of-violence problem. 2. In practice, given we have a centralised state and have to deal with it, our state to fails to exert the power that is has gathered responsibly: (a) It protects its own interests and the interests of the rich before it protects the basic rights of ordinary people, which is reflected in its laws, who it predominantly targets for punishment, etc. (b) It reflects an ethical underpinning that never truly escaped lex talionis i.e. punishment-based morality; but a rational, utilitarian view on crime would lead us to focus more on rehabilitation, with segregation for the most dangerous people (but not in the squalid conditions of a prison as we know it as that does not put rehabilitation first). (c) The system encodes mostly deontological ethics in which even crimes of no real consequence are punished as a violation of a citizen's duty, whereas a better system would be more purely consequentialist. (d) The various appendages of the justice system reflect these values, which is why the legal professions are so petty-bourgeois, and why legal advice is so much harder to access for working class people, and why the police so often mistreat political enemies, the working class, the homeless, and so on.

(For what it's worth, as I feel it's a likely follow-up question, I do empathise with the feelings of the victim---I have been a victim of crime myself---but I don't think we should structure a justice system around that.)

For serious violent crimes, I suppose rape and murder and so forth, I feel like there is a strong (if nuanced) ethical argument to be made about how you might not agree with the state's justice system but should still compromise with it to achieve the goal of separating a clearly acutely dangerous person from society. Ultimately I expect I would go along with that.

For minor crimes, like drug offences, shoplifting, not paying a parking ticket... I guess I just disagree fundamentally with state apparatus being used to harass those people. I don't really think they should be crimes at all. I wouldn't ethically be able to convict some kid caught selling coke when I don't think drugs should be criminalised; I couldn't bring myself to judge someone for fiddling their benefits when I earnestly believe everyone should just be given what they need anyway. I don't buy any platitudes about "a citizen's responsibility" and "everyone knows the law" and so on because we can all think of times in history when the law has just been wrong and people disobeying it would seem perfectly reasonable by today's standards.

But bear in mind that I was thinking about whether I could attempt to remove myself from the process, not necessarily obstruct it. If you like state justice as it is, I am sure they could find another juror without conscientious concerns about the process.

OrangeRKN wrote:I wouldn't read too much into it, I'm pretty sure Karl_ is a character on the popular online roleplaying game "GRcade" being played by the human Karl

:lol:

For what it's worth I have pretty much always been one of the left-est people on here. I am probably reaching caricatural levels of leftism in some people's eyes, but it's not intentionally a wind-up (apart from the gulag jokes obviously :P ).

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Peter Crisp
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Peter Crisp » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:41 am

Sandy wrote:No way I'd ever do it. Not even remotely comfortable with being forced to decide on the imprisonment of someone when all I'm given is some selective evidence that someone I don't know has presented to me.


You won't have much choice I'm afraid.
You could try a wriggle out of it but as has been said the allowable reasons for not doing it are pretty strict.
As for only having selective evidence the defence lawyers will try and get as much evidence as they can on both sides and to claim it's all somehow suspect is really rather odd, do you only trust people you personally know?

jiggles wrote:Nobody with a VR headset is going to be using it regularly this time next year, let alone in 4 years time.


Posted 16th March 2016. Let's see.
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Peter Crisp
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Peter Crisp » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:47 am

Karl I know this was only a single word in that long post but it's pertinent to me.

I worked in a shop for 4 years and if we decriminalise shoplifting why should anyone bother paying for anything in shops as surely there'll be zero consequence for just popping in and taking what you want and just walking out again?

Just having social stigma and shame be the deterrent is not going to work as some people just don't give a gooseberry fool and if they want something they'll walk into a shop and just take it.

jiggles wrote:Nobody with a VR headset is going to be using it regularly this time next year, let alone in 4 years time.


Posted 16th March 2016. Let's see.
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Moggy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:49 am

Karl_ wrote:For minor crimes, like drug offences, shoplifting, not paying a parking ticket... I guess I just disagree fundamentally with state apparatus being used to harass those people. I don't really think they should be crimes at all.


I agree with lots of what you say, especially around drugs and parking tickets, but how would shoplifting not be a crime? We might have little sympathy (if any!) for Tesco, but it is still a crime to just help yourself to items on their shelves. And I think we would all have plenty of sympathy for a small community/charity shop that has thieves taking goods.

I don’t think shoplifting should come with a jail sentence but I do think it is a crime.

Edit:

Are you going through a phase of listening to The Smiths?

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Karl_ » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:00 pm

Well, again, I genuinely don't have all the answers. It's difficult for me to navigate all the compromises we need for law enforcement under capitalism when I don't think we should live in a capitalist society.

I would struggle to punish a shoplifter because shoplifters are predominantly young poor people. I think they would stop shoplifting if you addressed the material conditions in their life that have led them to shoplift, and that if the state wants to intervene, it should do that instead, rather than spending more time and resources than it would take to just fix their problems on making an example out of them.

The reason why "shoplifting" in particular came to mind is that (I believe) that's the law under which the state might prosecute a homeless person for taking some bread, and I couldn't ever feel that's just.



I have never listened to The Smiths in my life, besides perhaps one song when Winckle tried to get me to listen to them. (Sorry Winckle.) :P My political views have not actually changed that much since, uh, maybe 2016-ish, but on this issue, I've been broadly anti-prison for as long as I've been thinking about politics (what probably doesn't come through on here is that I'm from a very working class background). But I think I've probably been more willing to use the "scary" terminology on here since I read an interesting argument about how reclaiming the terminology of anarchocommunist philosophy is important for advancing far-left views. (Otherwise, the rich will tell everyone they are frightening words used by hateful people, which is, like, the opposite of what is really true.) I don't know when that was, might have been a year ago now.

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Peter Crisp » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:06 pm

I think you've got a rather idealised opinion on who shoplifters are.
The vast majority aren't shoplifting to survive they do so just because they can and want free stuff.

If they were shoplifting to survive they'd be stealing food or blankets but you'd be shocked at what people take. I recently wen't into a card shop and the owners were looking for someone who'd just taken about 10 Yankee candles as they cost about £10 each I'm pretty sure you don't need them to survive.

jiggles wrote:Nobody with a VR headset is going to be using it regularly this time next year, let alone in 4 years time.


Posted 16th March 2016. Let's see.
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Jenuall
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:07 pm

Karl_ wrote:
...

For minor crimes, like drug offences, shoplifting, not paying a parking ticket... I guess I just disagree fundamentally with state apparatus being used to harass those people. I don't really think they should be crimes at all. I wouldn't ethically be able to convict some kid caught selling coke when I don't think drugs should be criminalised; I couldn't bring myself to judge someone for fiddling their benefits when I earnestly believe everyone should just be given what they need anyway. I don't buy any platitudes about "a citizen's responsibility" and "everyone knows the law" and so on because we can all think of times in history when the law has just been wrong and people disobeying it would seem perfectly reasonable by today's standards.


Interesting post Karl! Just to zoom in on this part briefly.

Drugs being decriminalised is one thing (although I think we would need to clarify the extent to which this was applied) but allowing anyone to produce and/or sell them seems like a bit of a step too far - surely some mechanism of regulation would still be required to maintain the safety of the public? A random kid selling coke should still be A Bad Thing™ as it has potential to harm the public? And also why is the kid selling it in the first place? Lots of products are legal to sell but you would raise an eyebrow and some rando pedalling them in the street!

Your fiddling benefits example is based on the premise that the person doing so needs to - I agree that a functioning and compassionate society would not put any individual in a position that does not allow them to live without resorting to "crime" but sadly we don't live there yet ( :( ) - given that benefits are a thing today would your position change if the person cheating on them was not doing it out of need but greed? (Note: I am not saying this is the prevailing situation today - I don't know the stats on who does cheat on benefits and whether they all need to or not) Admittedly I think on the "greed scale" this would still pale in comparison to what those "inventive" people are claiming is legal to do higher up the corporate chain! :dread:

Parking tickets is a fun one - you obviously need some regulation over parking otherwise people would stick their cars all over the shop. But unless you are causing harm or increasing risk to public safety - parking in front of a hospital or similar, then it's hard to get too irate about this issue!

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by BID0 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:12 pm

Peter Crisp wrote:I think you've got a rather idealised opinion on who shoplifters are.
The vast majority aren't shoplifting to survive they do so just because they can and want free stuff.

If they were shoplifting to survive they'd be stealing food or blankets but you'd be shocked at what people take. I recently wen't into a card shop and the owners were looking for someone who'd just taken about 10 Yankee candles as they cost about £10 each I'm pretty sure you don't need them to survive.

It could be products that have an easy sell value. The money could be used to buy alcohol, drugs, lottery tickets, smokes, food etc

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Jenuall
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Jenuall » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:14 pm

The other thing to remember is that shoplifted goods just taste better:

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Squinty » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:35 pm

This conversation just reminded me off working in a shop. The security guard caught a guy putting frozen peas down his trousers. Ended up taking him into the security office and the shoplifter crapped himself. I had to throw the chair he crapped on into a skip. Good times.

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Sandy
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Sandy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:00 pm

Peter Crisp wrote:You won't have much choice I'm afraid.
You could try a wriggle out of it but as has been said the allowable reasons for not doing it are pretty strict.
As for only having selective evidence the defence lawyers will try and get as much evidence as they can on both sides and to claim it's all somehow suspect is really rather odd, do you only trust people you personally know?


I have confidence in my ability to, and acceptance of, decline.

It's not about trusting people I personally know, situation is the driver. My girlfriend's mum is perfectly trustworthy with regards to not killing me while I sleep but put her in a room with cake and tell her not to eat it and you won't have any cake left when you return.

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Moggy
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Moggy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:08 pm

Karl_ wrote:I have never listened to The Smiths in my life, besides perhaps one song when Winckle tried to get me to listen to them. (Sorry Winckle.) :P


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoplifte ... orld_Unite

Although with the way Morrissey is nowadays it is best to not listen to them.

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by OrangeRKN » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:00 pm

Jenuall wrote:allowing anyone to produce and/or sell [drugs] seems like a bit of a step too far - surely some mechanism of regulation would still be required to maintain the safety of the public? A random kid selling coke should still be A Bad Thing™ as it has potential to harm the public?


This is the crucial element I feel. The primary purpose of the rule of law should be to protect people's rights - which includes the pretty fundamental right to life. If we accept that prevention is the best approach - better that no one gets hurt to begin with - then the need for regulation becomes obvious. Regulation is the mechanism of prevention and gives people confidence in the safety of general life, and in this case the safety and quality of the drugs they are receiving.

That then is the justification for criminalising unregulated distribution. You're enforcing regulation to prevent the "real" crime of someone distributing harmful substances to the unsuspecting. Society has weighed up the cost of a preventive approach vs a reactive approach, the latter of which grants more individual freedom (as there is no regulation), but results in more actual harm (because you can only react to bad actors after the fact).

The "punishment" for unregulated distribution becomes another value judgement. The intention of the punishment is to deter others from also avoiding the regulation, so that effect needs to be measured and be proportional. There is no point punishing people in a way that does not work as an effective deterrent. In that situation it may be that there is no punishment, but the law still exists in order enforce the regulation wherever it finds it isn't being followed.

Distribution of drugs is just one example, but the general principle applies across a wide spectrum, and ultimately it is up to society to decided (hence democratic oversight of the courts) where to draw the line between regulation that is necessary, and regulation that is overbearing in its impact on personal freedom.

Where our system of law fails I think is that it still places an emphasis on punishment as vengeance, and that it is easily corrupted with money.

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Somebody Else's Problem » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:35 pm

Not gonna lie, in Karl's world, I would shoplift every strawberry floating thing.

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Karl_ » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:36 pm

Somebody Else's Problem wrote:Not gonna lie, in Karl's world, I would shoplift every strawberry floating thing.

Not true! In my ideal world, money and therefore shops would not exist, so there would be no such thing as shoplifting. :P

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Moggy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:38 pm

Karl_ wrote:
Somebody Else's Problem wrote:Not gonna lie, in Karl's world, I would shoplift every strawberry floating thing.

Not true! In my ideal world, money and therefore shops would not exist, so there would be no such thing as shoplifting. :P


Not gonna lie, in Karl’s world I would take ALL of the food.

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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Preezy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:39 pm

Poor Karl, trapped in the fantasy land of his own imagination :(

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Peter Crisp
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Peter Crisp » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:40 pm

Somebody Else's Problem wrote:Not gonna lie, in Karl's world, I would shoplift every strawberry floating thing.


I'm not sure anyone could blame you.
Why would you pay for stuff when there's zero ramification for not doing so. I really fail to see how a system could work where paying for stuff from shops is basically a choice. Do I want that 100 inch OLED TV? Yeah but paying the £3,000 for it seems a bit much I think I'll pay zero for it instead.

jiggles wrote:Nobody with a VR headset is going to be using it regularly this time next year, let alone in 4 years time.


Posted 16th March 2016. Let's see.
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Hexx
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PostRe: Jury Duty
by Hexx » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:42 pm

I don't think those things would exist in KarlProf.

It'd be easy to steal, but there'd be nothing worth stealing


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