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SCOTUS Leftists Rule Child Molestation Less Important Than the Depravity of Whiteness
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

Inevitably, a federal judge (William M. Conley, nominated by Obama) is trying to block President Trump’s revised travel ban [Judge: Revised Trump ban cannot be enforced on Syrian family, by Todd Richmond, AP, March 11 2017]. This is just the next shot in what is obviously going to be a long war, not just over whether judges get to decide immigration policy but over the overall role in a democracy of our increasingly arrogant imperial judiciary. A little-noticed U.S. Supreme Court decision last week shows just how arrogant, and lawless and Cultural Marxist, our Leftist Kritarchs have become.

First, some perspective: St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a private liberal arts college, has launched a study group, advertised in a campus-wide email thusly:

This is a group where those who most often exhibit racist and sexist behavior — white males — can begin to be self-critical of the very dangerous, brutal, and depraved hierarchical pathologies of superiority, supremacy, and inferiority handed down to us by white Euro-American institutions … The main topic for discussion will be an ongoing one: How do we deal with the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity? How can we get to the root of this problem?

Student ‘study group’ to address ‘depravity of whiteness,’ by Anthony Gockowski,, March 2, 2017

Well, this SCOTUS story that manages to contain elements of both “the depravity of whiteness” and “the brutality of masculinity.”

The Brutality Of Masculinity showed itself in May of 2007 when a Hispanic male person entered the ladies’ rest-room of a horse-racing track in Colorado. This, I should make clear, was back in the dark days of ten years ago, before we entered the present enlightened age in which it is perfectly fine for men to use women’s restrooms — in which, indeed, it would be a scandalous violation of a man’s civil rights to try to stop him doing so.

Well, there were three girls in the restroom, ages 14, 15, and 16. The 15-year-old left when the man came in. The man then imposed himself on the other two, trying to stroke and fondle them. They fled and the police were notified.

In due course Miguel Angel Peña-Rodriguez, a worker at the racetrack, was identified by the girls as the man they had fled from. Peña-Rodriguez was tried at jury trial, where he produced a witness, also Hispanic, who provided an alibi for him. The jury didn’t believe the witness, so Mr. Peña-Rodriguez was found guilty on three misdemeanor assault charges, sentenced to two years’ probation, and registered as a sex offender.

So far, so small-potatoes police-blotter stuff.

However, Mr. Peña-Rodriguez hung around after the jurors had been dismissed and chatted with them. He heard that one juror, formerly a law-enforcement officer, had opined in the jury room that from his experience, Mexican men believed they could do whatever they wanted with women, that they were chronically aggressive toward women and young girls, and that the alibi witness was an illegal alien and therefore not credible.

That started off a chain of appeals. Colorado, along with other states, has a rule that what happens in the jury room stays in the jury room; that there can’t be endless after-the-verdict second-guessing about what went on in jury deliberations, or else the courts would do little else. Rules of this kind are called “no-impeachment rules.” The word “impeachment” there has the meaning “calling into question a jury’s decision based on testimony about what was said in the jury room.”

Mr. Peña-Rodriguez argued that this Colorado rule had violated his right to an impartial jury as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

The Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court slapped him down. But he pressed on. At last the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case, and Monday this week they handed down their judgment. Here it is, actual quote:

When a juror makes a clear statement indicating that he or she relied on racial stereotypes or animus to convict a criminal defendant, the Sixth Amendment requires that the no-impeachment rule give way in order to permit the trial court to consider the evidence of the juror’s statement and any resulting denial of the jury trial guarantee.[Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado]

I know, this sounds like a lot of jurisprudential inside baseball. But look at what SCOTUS did there. Translation into plain English:

“Sure, the no-impeachment rule is essential to prevent the legal process gumming up with endless second-guessing of jury decisions based on what one juror thought he heard another juror say in the jury room. But essential as the rule may be, rooting out racial bias is more important!”

The Court has declared a sort of As horrific as it would be for the courts to seize up under a flood of cases second-guessing jury decisions, if our diversity becomes a casualty, the Supreme Court thinks that would be worse.

511nk5odwLL._SY344_BO1204203200_-198x300[1] Let’s put aside the Hate Fact that, as Ann Coulter demonstrated in Adios America!, Mexicans are in fact peculiarly prone to molesting underage girls.

And I’m even leaving aside the fact that the alleged statements by the juror in this case referred to Mexicans and illegal aliens, neither of which is a race. Aren’t legal minds supposed to use words with fine, scholarly precision?

I guess I’m just showing my white privilege there.

This was a 5-3 decision, with Justices Alito, Roberts, and Thomas all dissenting. [Jury Secrecy Doesn’t Apply if Bias Taints Deliberations, Justices Rule , by Adam Liptak, NYT, March 6, 2017]. Justice Alito thought a bad precedent had been set, a watertight seal broken. He was actually quite apocalyptic about it, in his soft-spoken style: “It is questionable whether our system of trial by jury can endure this attempt to perfect it.”

I would love to have heard the late Antonin Scalia’s opinion.

The Court majority were blithe about the consequences. “Not every offhand comment indicating racial bias or hostility will justify” an investigation into jurors’ deliberations, Justice Kennedy wrote cheerfully in the majority decision.

You wanna bet?


The court’s Wise Latina stuck to the General Casey principle. Nothing, nothing, not even the destruction of the jury system, could be worse than holding negative opinions about Mexicans and illegals, said Justice Sotomayor: “There may be cases of juror bias so extreme that, almost by definition, the jury trial right has been abridged.”

So there you are. Racial bias is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Exposing it and suppressing the Depravity Of Whiteness justifies anything, anything—up to and including the destruction of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence.

The U.S. Supreme Court says so. And it’s the Voice Of God.

Isn’t it?

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He’s had two books published by FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived at

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
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  1. unit472 says:

    What do you want to bet the Court would have not even taken a case ( O.J. Simpson e.g.) wherein black jurors used race to overrule the facts of the case. Here, the juror was merely noting a cultural reality. Police and prosecutors do the same. Typically this results in charges not being brought against a minority defendant where they might well have been had the defendant been white. You can’t tell me assault and battery is prosecuted as vigilantly in Anacostia as the same incident would be in Georgetown!

  2. Frightening. Thank you John for talking about this.

  3. Robert Bork once suggested an amendment to the Constitution to the effect that any SCOTUS decision could be reversed by a simple majority vote of both houses of Congress.

    Maybe it’s time to think more seriously about something along those lines.

  4. So the guy gets sprung. My guess is that if courts won’t supply justice, then other suppliers will arise. The opening scene of The Godfather comes to mind.

  5. Randal says:

    “the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity”

    What a great motto. I might adopt it. I wonder if it translates well into latin (my decades old school latin is not up to the task)?

    Anyway, sadly I don’t think this case can be used much, because the emotional response of “but the guy deserves a fair trial” will trump the dry rationality of procedural practicality for most readers.

    • Replies: @Randal
    , @Wizard of Oz
  6. Randal says:

    Google translate suggests (breaking the terms down):

    pravitas albedinis et saevitia virilitatis

    But I’m not sure about the “et” and whether it might not be better to use -que, and reversing it in Translate gives:

    “depravity and savagery of white masculinity”

    Which I suppose is good enough. Perhaps an unlatin comma would help:

    pravitas albedinis, saevitia virilitatis

  7. David says:

    At his 1670 trial for, essentially, unlawful assembly William Penn, to whom we owe more than anyone the right of habeas corpus and the principle of jury nullification (correct me if I’m wrong, DK), said:

    Is this justice or true judgment? Must I therefore be taken away because I plead for the fundamental laws of England? However, this I leave upon your consciences, who are of the jury (and my sole judges,) that if these ancient fundamental laws, which relate to liberty and property, (and are not limited to particular persuasions in. matters of religion) must not be indispensably maintained and observed, who can say he hath right to the coat upon his back? Certainly our liberties are openly to be invaded, our wives to be ravished, our children slaved, our families ruined, and our estates led away in triumph, by every sturdy beggar and malicious informer, as their trophies, but our (pretended) forfeits for conscience sake. The Lord of Heaven and Earth will be judge between us in this matter.

    Much later:

    Clerk. Look upon the prisoners at the bar; how say you? Is William Penn Guilty of the matter whereof he stands indicted in manner and form, or Not Guilty?

    Foreman. Guilty of speaking in Grace-church street.

    Court. Is that all ?

    Foreman. That is all I have in commission.

    Rec. You had as good say nothing.

    May. Was it not an unlawful assembly? You mean he was speaking to a tumult of. people there?

    Foreman. My Lord, This is all I had in commission.

    Recorder. Gentlemen, you shall not be dismissed till we have a verdict that the court will accept; and you shall be locked up, without meat, drink, fire, and tobacco; you shall not think thus to abuse the court; we will have a verdict, by the help of God, or you shall starve for it.

    Penn. My jury, who are my judges, ought not to be thus menaced; their verdict should be free, and not compelled; the bench ought to wait upon them, but not forestal them. I do desire that justice may be done me, and that the arbitrary resolves of the bench may not be made the measure of my jury’s verdict.

    Recorder. Stop that prating fellow’s mouth, or put him out of the court.

    Obser. The court swore several persons, to keep the Jury all night without meat, drink, fire, or any other accommodation; they had not so much as a chamber pot, though desired.

    These are the brave Englishmen of that jury whose accomplishment was undone this week:

    Foreman Thomas Veer, Edward Bushel, John Hammond, Henry Henley, Charles Milson, Gregory Walklet, John Baily, William Lever, Henry Michel, John Bnghtman, James Damask, Wil. Plumsted.

  8. I’m pretty startled that the defendant in this case was allowed to “hang around” and speak with jurors. If I sat on a jury that just convicted a dangerous pedophile, and he wanted to “chat” with me afterwards, I think I’d be on my speed dial with 911. This plainly shouldn’t be allowed, ever.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  9. Here’s hoping that President Trump will simply defy any court order interfering with his latest order limiting visa issuance to people from certain Muslim countries. Otherwise, as John quite properly notes, the judiciary will be setting immigration policy.

  10. This SCOTUS ruling is yet another one of many instances of the $ellout E$tabli$hment’s imposition upon us of anarcho-tyranny.

  11. Kennedy is a gift that just keeps on giving. Horrible precedent, but will no doubt be a windfall for trial lawyers. Don’t like a verdict, just claim jury bias and ask for a mulligan. This is exactly how the immigration courts operate. It aint over till the fat lady runs out of money to give her attorney.

  12. Practical lesson for jurors: never talk to anyone about what went on in jury deliberations.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  13. HumanI don’ t often disagree with you John but I am on the side of the traditional Bar for which “the liberty of the subject comes first”. I am sorry indeed to find that you are not fighting the attenuation of that splendid rule** partly under the influence of feminists and victim groups.

    You appear to mistate the principal which SCOTUS has established. It is most unlikely that future decisions will follow it as a preference for being nice about race over putting perverts away or upholding the right of juries to act like lynch mobs without redress. Courts often do decide cases on broader stated principles than the facts of the case require though it is contrary to common law tradition and any temptation to announce ce a broad principle in the Rodriguez case may have been, I guess, restrained by the desire to get agreement from other majority judges.

    Your apparent preference for neglecting justice to the individual in favour of cutting down the time and expense of making the jury system work properly might be based on a romanticised idea of the jury system (actually systems – with big differences even within one country). Anyway it is a case of notes and beams because (a) criminal justice in the US is corrupted by prosecutors (often elected on a law and order platform) and others slandering accused persons before trial thanks to First Amendment protection (b) juries in state courts can be enormously influenced in their composition by shrewdly deployed money. It is unlikely that a rich Mexican would have faced that prejudiced juror on his trial; (c) nearly all jury trials are avoided, often by prosecutors overcharging and slandering the accused to compel a plea deal.

    In 1995 I conducted well resourced research around the world on jury systems from Australia to Canada and the US to Ireland and England and Hong Kong with conference call links to South Africa. As the wise man said “I don’t want to be found Not Guilty: I don’t want to be tried”. Judges and jury lawyers everywhere tended to defend their very very different systems as one would expect: avoidance of daily cognitive dissonance of course. ” Juries usually get it right!” Of course they do for obvious reasons – mostly that police and prosecution resources are concentrated on cases they should win while juries do notice really glaring stuff ups pointed out by the defence. But no innocent person in his right mind would prefer jury trial to one before a judge or judges (in an honest system). It was easy to see why, in Canada, someone like Rodriguez – presumably with a thick foreign accent – would choose to be tried by a judge alone (though some Australian barrister friends sneered at Canadian lawyers for lacking the skills for jury advocacy.

    Well, I seem to have touched the publish button so I’ll sign off with just a touch of provocation. It was Eric Holder in 1995 that persuaded me that the federal jury system was superior to those in most states…

    **There was a time in my state where every young barrister would have that rule rubbed in when he appeared in the Supreme Court’s Practice Court (a superior court judge sitting in open chambers) and find that the most senior Queens Counsel had to wait to be heard until the bail appeals had been dealt with.

    • Replies: @Anon
  14. @Bragadocious

    You illustrate the problems for any accused person seeking justice. There is no suggestion that he was a “dangerous pedophile”.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  15. @Cloudbuster

    It is rigidly enforced in most of Australia but I don’t see it as a “practical lesson” for jurors. What harm will they suffer if they talk apart from sometimes disclosing that they have been fools?

  16. @Randal

    Is “the guy deserves a fair trial” just an “emotional response”? Not a tradition going back to the Pilgrim Fathers it is true, but take an imaginative leap to Magna Carta and you might find some principle.

    • Replies: @Randal
  17. @Wizard of Oz

    He was convicted of assault, moron.

    • Replies: @Randal
    , @Wizard of Oz
  18. I think Alito was very shrewd in postulating that this ruling could mean the end of the jury system. (I was once the foreman of a jury, so I know a bit about the process.)

    The whole point of a jury system is that defendants are evaluated for truth telling or otherwise by ordinary persons from the local community with ordinary perceptions, not by a panel of professors. All juries will have preconceptions–for example the case in which I was on a jury was a drunk driving case in a county that has very strict alcohol laws, so obviously a bad place to stand trial if you are an alcoholic driver from out of state who refuses a breath test and claims that the local cops are liars.

    Such cases might now be overturned on appeal on the grounds that a resident of a blue state cannot get a fair trial in a red state.

  19. Randal says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    In this case it is the emotional “gut response” as opposed to the dry and rational one of practicality, accepting that no system will ever be perfect but that you have to draw lines somewhere. Every juror is prejudiced about every defendant as soon as he sees his face and hears him speak. And they are trusted to decide nonetheless.

    And Derbyshire is surely correct that these things almost invariably go in one direction only – in favour of the specially protected “minority”.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  20. Randal says:

    In fairness to the Wizard, a man who is convicted of “assault” on teenage girls is not necessarily “dangerous” to anyone except other young girls.

    But it is odd that a convict would be hanging around chatting with his jurors, anyway.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  21. Daniel H says:

    BTW Derb, you predicted several years ago, when all informed opinion were prognosticating that Iceland was doomed for refusing to force the citizens to make good on loans incurred by private banks, that within a few years time Iceland would be fine and back to normal. Well, turns out that they have surpassed normal. The economy is booming, the people, banks, country and industry has full access to capital markets and, most importantly, a good number of bankers have gone to jail. Check out Steve’s report.

    But I’m sure that it all has to do with that cold, volcanic, magic dirt out there in the Atlantic.

  22. @Randal

    Thank you. It is difficult to know whether one should just put people into the CTI list and stick to one’s decision in the case of someone who is (a) ridiculously careless with language, (b) is unable or unwilling to correct or even acknowledge his error when given the chance; (c) is mindlessly abusive.

  23. @Randal

    Yes lines “have to be drawn somewhere” is almost a truism in many (?all) fields of human activity where uncertainty remains forever unconquered (?all). But where to draw the lines isn’t answered by that and the whole history of the common law (and Equity) is one of provisional, fuzzy, refinable and occasionally rewritable boundary lines. That’s the case law system in contrast to the rule of benevolent philosopher despots.

    It occurs to me that the retention of that most effective line drawer, the death penalty, is probably a marker, not so much of brutal autocracy or oligarchy but of the people’s fear of crime, usually with reason. (The US and China are way out ahead apart from the Iranian theocracy I believe though Indonesia and India still contend with some basis in real dangers of violence)3. But I digress.

    On your “And Derbyshire is surely correct” point which does not allow for fuzzy lines or judgment I think you misinterpret him if, which strict grammar and logic suggest, you take him to say that “these things” that I read as inevitable juror prejudice (“Every juror is prejudiced about every defendant…”) favour (“specially protected”) minorities. No, come to think of it, the reverse is so obviously true that I suppose you are objecting to the refiners of the rules for fair trials in the higher courts *seeking to negate* undue prejudice on juries only in the case of currently fashionably favoured minorities. Where we might differ is in assigning reasons for that. I would look first to the undoubted and repesentative fact that residents of Old Greenwich Ct were always at least as likely to die in a 9/11 attack on the WTC as suffer as to suffer from a local jury’s prejudice against them. Cf. who would have had to worry about the jury’s prejudices in a rape trial in the Old South… Who needs protection is an individual matter and in attempting to give reasons that lay down justifiable rules SCOTUS judges will struggle forwards (mostly) at different paces and by somewhat different routes (despite their being the product of just a very few law schools). It is pretty excruciating to watch the death penalty being abolished for the retarded and the consequent ceertainty that lawyers and activists will have turned their attention to gaming the criteria. Roe v.Wade and the unbelievable concentration of yhe world’s superpower”s voters on the xygote, blastocyst, embryo, foetus and what pedophile priests teach about them – or the Bible fsils to say – is the kind of problem other commin law countries are happy to be without. Perhaps enshrining the Bill of Rights in the Constitution wasn’t such a great idea, as I can recall Australia’s greatest ever CJ and friend of Frankfurter (!) saying as he sought to have his court respected for its strict and complete legalism. Interesting, come to think of it, that it wasn’t the courts who liberated the slaves or gave blacks voting rights…

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  24. @Wizard of Oz

    Sorry about lack of editing. An emergency arose.

    • Replies: @Lucius Somesuch
  25. @Wizard of Oz

    An emergency arose.

    And not a moment too soon, if this tendentious ankle-nipping Aspie bugout of dogged, pointless pugnacity dressed up as comparative jurisprudence (with only the occasional nod toward grammatical comprehensibility) is any indication.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  26. @Lucius Somesuch

    I congratulate you on the ability to ptoduce an almost Latinate granmatical first draft sentence. It’s a pity we haven’t developed enough consideration or respect for the generality of fellow Unzers to gear up our inner Hemingway and hack our prose into tabloid style easy reading.

    BTW note your use of “tendentiious”, itself I think tendentious, leaves me wondering what your point is and what you mean it oe take it to mean. Is it just a dyslogistic chatacterisation of words used by another that constitute an argument you disagree with and disapprove of? Actually I would understand your not finding my comment tendentious at all but, on a single reading, not making it clear what my most important underlying values are despite my labeling what I said about the death penalty in one paragraph as a digression.

    Just count me as deeply sceptical about human judgment – and most aspects of human nature – and viscerally in favour of the individual against power which is misused or just in error whether wielded by a rich competitor who can ruin him or the power of police and prosecutor or judge or jury.

    • Replies: @Lucius Somesuch
  27. @Wizard of Oz

    BTW note your use of “tendentiious”, itself I think tendentious, leaves me wondering what your point is and what you mean it oe take it to mean. Is it just a dyslogistic chatacterisation of words used by another that constitute an argument you disagree with and disapprove of?

    The principal takeaway for you, Wizard, is that you are an indescribable gasbag.

    I mean, I sometimes wonder if/when The Unz Community at large will intervene with Santoculto and demand he accept our generous offer of a Berlitz course, provided he take it and hone his comments into something approaching grammatical English, or else bid his fond adieus.

    Yet even Santoculto, who, on top of writing a woeful English far far beneath his apparent native aptitude, also seems to play (as far as I can gather) every side of the ideological field he can take hold of, nonetheless manages–somehow!– to occasionally deliver scintillating hints of insight which somehow make his presence tolerable and even sometimes welcome. Indeed, it’s occurred to me to suspect perhaps he is yet another handle– this time a precrafted alternate persona– for our dear priss/and etc.

    But you, Oz, are sure proof that STEM does not enjoy a complete monopoly on autism. How else can one even begin to unpack the groaning boxloads of verbiage, prepositional phrases toppling onto and over one another like polyamourous fat lesbians in a (is this the correct lingo?) “puppy puddle”, fat tatted-up syntax groaning and slurping away in hideous blind grammatically unnatural coitus, which you deliver–and deliver–and deliver, with the indefatigable coked-up monotony of a camwhore late for rent.

    Your vaunted exercises in comparative jurisprudence prove only that there is something desperately half-baked about your brain, that your powers of takeaway are dismal, and that, on top of your sententious self-importance and stupid incomprehensibility, you are a touchy, self-righteous moralizing cow who dumbly thinks he’s adding something to the conversation by, for all intents and purposes, squealing all over the internet like a lobotomized paralegal clutching her copy of 12 Angry Men.

    For heaven’s sake, man, find another emergency.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  28. @Lucius Somesuch

    Ah the pot greets the kettle. But we very poor man’s Isaiah Berlins and Henry Kissingers, boosted only occasionally by report that someone has found us interesting despite a lifelong tendency, indulged by mother, to use 500 words where 5 were invited and many would falsely say none were enough… we must stay in practice.

    Sometimes, I find, the musical dilettante, of whom I had not heard or read, can produce quite eloquent streams of rhetoric, anti-Semitic rhetoric not least and so one should indulge him when facts, substantive content and logical argument are wanting and he merely seeks to practise his scales with flooding verbiage. Beware, the Christian Goths will sack your gorgeous pagan villa and you must be ready to move on. But in the meantime I shall take up your implicit invitatation to respond to the contentless opinionated rhetoric with its occasional evidences of aspirations to soar. I won’t match the vulgarity of your last long paragraph however. I doubt that I could.

    (I am interested that your acquaintance with the law extends to Twelve Angry Men as a group of young lawyers recently roped me in to play the 9th Juror for two four night runs. A very interesting part, especially when analysing his character and social and educational background before deleting a few words to strengthen my interpretation of his part as upholding my view of updated common law justice that I have emphasised on this thread and which I am sorry to see you cynically disregard even if it is because you rightly deplore the state of America’s legal system as I found elswhere that you do).

  29. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You are a word thinker.

    Such ability impresses grown ups from the mouths of 3rd graders from whom it is an impressive skill.

    From an adult it is a badge of moral and intellectual weakness that is so simplistic an artificial intelligence would not use that to try to pass a Turing test.

    The reason juries decide, not elite judges, is because the citizens have more skin in the game, which is the ultimate check on run away pretentious intellect.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  30. @Anon

    Interesting that a moderately literate and educated person like you should choose “Anon”.

    I wasn’t familiar with the concept of “word thinker” but I detect in your post an amateur’s usage of a concept that Google tells me is prima facie to be contrasted with visuo-spatial or “image” thinking which would certainly require you to elaborate and elucidate your use of the term in this argumentative context. I haven’t a clue how it could add to a case for or against juries. As a Scottish judge of my acquaintance might say “And what is the contrast Mr. Anon?”.

    Curiously my high sensitivity to the meanings and range of meanings of words and how they are being used is usually a long way behind my sensitivity to numbers being right or wrong or needing qualification, perhaps mostly because it has usually been a better way of being competitively right in an innumerate world than has any flow of words where others can answer back or just have their turn. I’m not sure where that fact would fit into your somewhat wooly depiction of thinking styles without any comparison or standard offered. What I am clear about is that it is your id rather than intellect speaking. One indication of this is that your last par is actually incorrect as framed. Juries are used because they got enshrined in the US Constitution and in many countries’ and jurisdictions’ traditional ways of doing things originally because local juries would very likely know what happened, then partly by rationalisation of what was already in place, as defenders of people’s liberties against the Crown. Forever, for support for any jury system, you can count on avoidance of cognitive dissonance amongst judges and lawyers, and finding reasons for continuing with institutions and practices they are familiar with and make a living from.

    But you mean that you think there *should be* juries rather than judges for the reasons you mention – and many judges would rather have juries decide the hard questions of fact on which a person’s liberty may depend.

    You blithely ignore most of complex reality. What “skin in the game” when you look at actual jurors selected under a number of very different systems of different ethnic backgrounds, different rules for exclusions or exemptions from jury service, different rules as to challenges with and without cause etc.?

    Actually I realise now that you have practically no relevant knowledge of the subject and I shall discontinue giving apparent weight to the product of whatever strange emotion prompted you to emit.

    • Replies: @Anon
  31. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    You would be an excellent economist also.

    Read Anti-Fragile to gain an idea of where I am coming from.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  32. @Anon

    I appreciate the civility of your opening insult. My standard of excellence for economists is J. M keynes and even he would have improved consideranly if he had lived, with all his marbles, to the great age of his father.

    Antifragility? Ah yes I can see how one could make a case for applying it to a system which relied on juries rather than judges to determine guilt or onnocence. (Interesting, as something of a side issue, when judges have to consider whether, sitting without a jury, they ought to adopt a jury’s potential nullification. I think it might have been a Canadian case that I read about where it happened. In Australia I think it is inadmissable for counsel to even tell a jury tbat it can ignore the judge’s direction about the law and I have wondered whether an unrepresented defendant could get away with it). But your contributions so far have avoided dealing with the desirable details of a jury system including giving all (not just rich defendants in state courts) a decent chance of getting an impartial jury of their peers. Most jury systems may be better than most alternatives but that doesn’t mean they don’t need improvement and some oversight by judges at the trial or on appeal.

    Just one typical anecdotal support for my view of juries being accepting but wary. A female schoolteacher told me of her experience as foreman of a jury in the Northern Territory (Alice Springs I think where Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of killing her baby which was beyond any doubt taken by a dingo: cf. the film “Evil Angels” in which Meryl Streep played Lindy Chamberlain). Apparently the judge sent them out after a submission of No Case by the defence to bring in a verdict of Not Guilty. She told me that it took thtee quarters of an hour to persuade all the jurors to do what was required and that she was sure she could as easily have got them to bring in a Guilty verdict!

    I now recall antifragility as connected to Nassim Nicholas Taleb whose “Black Swan” I read with interest but considerable irritation as he sounded like a clever undisciplined blowhard to me. Then I softened a bit when I came across an earlier book of his and had to give him marks too for apparently being independent minded even if cussedly so. (I noted his effusive references to Mandelbrot. But I couldn’t find him noticed by Mandelbrot anywhere). Are you a fan?

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