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LETTER: Employing professional jurors is an idea

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

In 1995, after the shockingly wrongful verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial was brought down, there was a supposedly fairly intelligent man interviewed on television who seemed rather horrified at the idea of questioning the jury's decision.

"I would never second-guess a jury," he commented. He was clearly implying that while people routinely criticize such prominent persons as politicians, clergymen, and writers, it would somehow be wrong to do the same for a panel of quite ordinary people who typically comprise a jury.

Most jurors in the Simpson trial were poorly educated and also lacked common sense, as witness their refusal to accept the results of DNA tests which showed beyond any doubt that the former football star was guilty of two atrocious murders.

I must say that I do not share the timidity or lack of intellectual awareness and initiative that the above-mentioned interviewee apparently harbored.

Around the same time that this trial concluded, someone in television floated the idea of having professional jurors decide the outcomes of trials, rather than individuals more or less picked at random. This suggestion was rejected out of hand by most people who were asked about it.

However, I would be willing to at least give this idea serious consideration.

You would not want an untrained lawyer to represent you at trial, or a "man-in-the-street" person to act as a judge, so why not have people who are well-educated in matters of the law decide the fate of someone who is accused of committing a crime of some consequence?

I really believe that there is room for such improvement in our legal system.

Lloyd Bonnell,

Corner Brook

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