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Attacks on Civil Jury Trials Undermine Constitution, Democracy

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:40 PM
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Attacks on Civil Jury Trials Undermine Constitution, Democracy
from the National Law Journal, via Reclaim Democracy!:



Attacks on Civil Jury Trials Undermine Constitution, Democracy
By John Vail
March 7, 2008. First published by The National Law Journal



The debate about tort reform is largely cast in terms of corporations versus trial lawyers, so it fails to capture what is really at issue: Are citizens in a democracy entitled to make decisions, or must they defer to elites at every turn?

It is unusual today to talk about the right to sit on a jury as one of the fundamental rights Americans possess, at least as important as the right to vote, but the framers were wholly comfortable with the assertion, and Lincoln described the jury right as the more important one.

And history makes clear that the right was equally valued in civil cases, in which the people stand between the aggrieved and the asserted doer of wrong, as in criminal cases, in which the people stand between the state and the accused.

We continue to value the jury in the criminal context, but we belittle it in the civil context. Why? Even if criminal defendants were dissatisfied with the jury system, they do not have at their disposal the political and communications resources available to corporate tort defendants.

In a concerted effort during the past several decades, corporate tort defendants have bombarded the media with stories about the assertedly grave injustices they suffer at the hands of scheming plaintiffs aided by greedy trial lawyers. They have constructed two mantras: "Legislatures make law, courts apply law" and "Juries find facts, courts apply them." Both are nonsense, constructed for purposes of altering the political landscape. ......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/articles/2008/civil_jury_tr...




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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:02 PM
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1. I just read John Grishoms, " The Appeal "
It verifies and sheds a harsh light on the way corporations now "buy" seats on the courts to ensure their dominance over the people.

Check it out.
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