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No Such Thing as a Professional Juror

Lawprof Thaddeus Hoffmeister (Juries) is interested in what others think about the idea (which he thinks would be unconstitutional) of using “professional jurors” to decide cases when lay juries are unable, after several attempts, to reach a unanimous conclusion.

This proposal is the perpetual darling of well-meaning amateurs who think they can do better than the Founders. They’ll see a situation in which it appears from outside the jury room that the jury somehow was not up to the job thrust upon it. “I know!” they’ll say, “if we had expert jurors they wouldn’t make mistakes like that!”

The purpose of a jury is to be the voice of the community in a civil case and a bulwark between the government’s bureaucrats and the individual in a criminal case.

A jury of experts cannot be the voice of the community. If you create a caste of professional jurors they’ll be nothing more than another layer of bureaucrats on the government teat. So a jury of experts or professionals would be no jury at all.

No, no, no. A thousand times no.

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