Jury Duty

     Jury system is a trial system that twelve citizens decide whether defendants are
guilty or not. The verdict is unanimous. The jurors are all laypersons , as far
as law is concerned. There is a reason for unanimous verdict. If one jury is
against the verdict,it is regarded as being room for doubt. Advantages of jury
system are direct participation of American people, conventional judgement by
people, fair stage of investigation, resistance against polictics' and judical
plot, and making of democratic consciousness. For example, if a public
prosecutor submit unlawful proof without trial permission, counsel makes an
objection to it. A chief judge can't admit counsel's objection. Defendant is at
a disadvantage. However, there is a possibility that jury system will check
rotting of trial. Jurors need not explain reason of verdict to court. If juries
feel way of investigation is dirty and viorate human rights, they can decide the
defendant is innocnt. In short, jurors can decide defendant is innocent even if
a public prosecutor has disadvantageous proofs for the defendant. Juries who are
representative of citizen make the decision value about proof. But, Jerome

Frank, one of delegates of legal realists, criticized jury system in Law &
the Modern Mind, 1930. " A lot of verdicts are irresponsible juries'
products of caprice and prejudice, for example, the defendant is a rich
corporation, the plaintiff is a poor boy and the counsel is an eloquent speaker.

Such facts often decide who wins or loses." He characterizes that juries
have tendency to like weak people and hate strong people. Jury system seems to
have many problems. A sophisticated and rich person, a person of position and a
busy businessman do not want to become a juror, because juries are bound for all
trial period and therefore person who can afford time for trial can become a
juror, such as a housewife, an old person and an unemployed person. As a result
jurors who have not even seen stock averages are to make the decision for an
important and difficult case involved in the Antimonoply Law. It is said that
citizen's ability to execute for jury's duty is the problem. But I do not think
so. There are not scientific grounds for their abilities.It is a prejudice.Law
degree and no proper ability to serve as a juror are not closely connected.

Perhaps high educational degree may become an obstacle of conventional judgement.

It is said that Japanese companies always lose the lawsuit, because American
juries have prejudice against Japanese. Do you think it is true? The answer is

NO.The probability of winnig a suit, by a jury who represents American citizen,
was fifty to one hundred in data from 1980 to 95. To my surprise, American
juries do not seem to matter nationality. After all, hypothesis that American
juries have preconception against Japanese and Japanese companies always lose
suit is not right. Moreover, hypothesis that juries are emotional and sympathize
with defendant, and as a result the opinion that big companies always loses suit
is groundless. The cause of distrust in jury system is probably connected to the
way of news reports by mass media. Mass media reports minus images. The general
public believe it is the real image in spite of successful verdicts. The present
age is the one of an information-intensive society. Many people are influenced
by the mass media. If those people who have prejudice happen to see a juror who
gives a big yawn or dozes during trial, minus image generalizes with conviction.

Let me give you a concrete example. Under sensational headline of newspapers,
mass media reports great costs of jury trials as if every trial by a jury costs
a lot. I agree with the idea of jury system. It is very good that American
people participate in judicature. But, many people take a critical attitude
toward the jury system. I never think that they are wrong. They may say "

We had better entrust trial to trained judge." However, meaning of jury
system's existence is to stick to common sense of citizens. Providing whether
the man is innocent or not by legal rights all people can exercise is permitted
is more important than the fact whether the man is innocent or not.