Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

A general comment on a lot of the comments here: You can make anything look good by only considering the positives, you can make anything look bad by only considering the negatives. Rather a lot of the latter going on here. To come to a proper decision about what is better, you need to consider both the negatives and the positives of multiple alternatives.

Before rushing to condemn jury trials, I'd also recommend considering that it is a deliberate creation, and that you ought to consider the forces involved in that creation and where it came from before rushing to condemn it. For instance, many are suggesting we can just leave it to one judge, but if you are, for instance, concerned about systemic racism, why would you leave the entire decision to one possibly-racist judge? Wouldn't you be better off in a process which makes it so that the prosecution has to collect 12 racists onto the jury, procedurally battling the defense all the while, instead?

Part of the reason that the jury system exists is precisely that the mental model of a judge as a disinterested, literally inhuman arbiter of absolute truth was concretely, repeatedly disproved by history. The reason we have a "justice system" at all is precisely that we don't have access to perfect humans. If we did, there would be no problem to solve with "judges" or "juries" or anything else in the first place; we'd just consult the perfect humans! If your "better than a jury" model upon closer examination implicitly contains perfect humans in it, throw it out; your model is already worse than what we have, because at least what we have has the virtue of existing, and yours can't even reach that bar.

Look... at the risk of being a bit harsh... condeming jury trials, then offering as an alternative a system that implicitly contains "perfect humans" in it is frankly being every bit as irrational, unrealistic, and disconnected from reality as the humans that just disappointed you in the jury trial description you just read.

If that sucks... yeah, it sucks! But unfortunately, "it sucks" is not actually a logical argument that "it" can't exist, nor is it any form of evidence that there is anything better than "it". If you're going to produce evidence of a better system, it's going to be a great deal harder than merely saying "this system sucks", unfortunately.

Who condemns jury trials? Most people here complain about the implementation of jury trials, not the concept of jury trials.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact