My Adventures thus far as a Canadian Juror...
I had to write something about this as, driving from the courthouse back to work for the third time today, my expierence as a Juror has been fairly humorous and, I would hope, not common. But lets not start at today, lets start about a month ago when I received the letter. For the past month I, John Gunningham, have been a part of Canada's Judicial system, sitting in the Jury panel.
I had a couple misconceptions going into this thing. The first and probably largest is the amount of time it would take. I thought, naively as it turns out, that there would be a day of selection followed by, if one was selected, however many days of trial. This course of thought is very untrue. When selected to be in the pool of Jurors the court effectively owns you for 5 weeks. At any point inside those five weeks if there is a trial, you could be selected. So you're selected to serve on the first trial's Jury, you're exempt from the rest right? Nope. You come back the next week as they will undoubtedly need another 'panel of peers' to condem the next poor sod.
As it turns out, I'm 2 for 3, having been selected and served on 2 of the 3 court cases. Both ended the same way; the accused pleaded guilty before much of anything was done. So, as it turns out, a jury was not needed at all and about 3 days worth of my time was consumed, as a fire consumes paper, utterly without any kind of interesting by product. During this time they would give us 2 hour lunches only to have us return to tell us we could go, creating the equivalant of a human yo-yo. Perhaps this is just a game the judge plays, bouncing us like balls for his whims.
Now I have a theory. The court is intimidating, and this prompts wrong-doers to confess. A group of 12 people, strangers, staring, makes the accused confess. Therefore I theorize that instead of a Jury, we use a pack of gorillas. Large, male and angry. True the court system would lose a "rational" decision making body, however the intimidation factor would be through the roof. Imagine, your life in the hands of a 300 pound silverback, who will more likely squeeze hard than offer any sort of "Not Guilty" statement. Crime would stop. End of Story.
I just wanted to get that theory out there, if anyone with any kind of power sees this I would be more than happy to debate my condensed, abrupt form of Justice, dished out as it would be by a King Kong version of Judge Dredd. I also think bingo balls would be much prefered to the random selection dished out from cards in a box.