In the past 48 hours this blog has had visitors from:
Abu Dhabi, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, China, Dubai, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco,Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Viet Nam.
(Most of these visitors come to us via the Texas State Bar, which has us as the featured blog on its blog page this week.)
I welcome these visitors. I realize that in your country, the accused probably does not have the right to a jury trial. The idea that we should be judged by juries of our peers must be as foreign to you as the idea that juries should determine suppression issues is to visitors from New York.
Here’s how it works:
If the government wants to take away my freedom, it has to convince twelve of my peers that I’ve violated the law. The government must present witnesses to testify to my guilt. I can confront and cross-examine these witnesses and present my own witnesses. If I want to testify I can, but if I don’t nobody can compel me to. If the jury finds that the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, they acquit me. Even if my twelve peers think the government has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, they can concude law the law is wrong and acquit me. If they do, the government can’t appeal, can’t reprosecute me for the same offense, and can’t punish the jurors for their decision.