Have the Judge decide guilt

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by Robert, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There is ample evidence your so called trial by Jury is the wrong path to follow. You would fare better letting the Judge decide guilt vs innosence.

    This is if you believe studies. So do you believe studies?

    In my case I would trust the facts and select the Judge over the Jury. A Jury is not of my peers despite the myth told. A Jury has a mixture of many kinds so is not of my peers.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-ta...go-to-trial-and-most-who-do-are-found-guilty/
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  2. Eleuthera

    Eleuthera Well-Known Member Donor

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    The US criminal justice system is a travesty. More than a century's worth of the government's efforts has rendered today's jury just a rubber stamp for the prosecution.

    But even then I would take a jury over the average judge whose loyalty is to the state, not to the people or the finding of justice.

    There are always exceptions.
     
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  3. Le Chef

    Le Chef Well-Known Member Donor

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    I have written to Pew Research expressing surprise that "four-in-ten defendants who faced a bench trial (38%) were acquitted." That means a conviction rate of just 62%. Federal prosecutors cherry pick their cases, typically investigated by the FBI, SEC, or DHS, and if they are only winning 62% of their bench trials, they are taking a lot of weak cases somewhere. Certainly they are not losing 38% of their firearm, fraud, drug, and immigration cases.

    I'll let you know if they write me back. I don't say they are making up their numbers; still, I am surprised.
     
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  4. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Recently I read a study that announced those letting the Judge decide come out better than those who let the Jury render Decisions of Guilt or innosence.
     
  5. Eleuthera

    Eleuthera Well-Known Member Donor

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    In certain types of cases, I suppose that could be true.
     
  6. Le Chef

    Le Chef Well-Known Member Donor

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    Is that the study you referenced in the first post?
     
  7. Chrizton

    Chrizton Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall all the particulars but the feds lost several gang related cases in our area that came out of joint task force investigations due to the local prosecutor tanking them. The local state courts are way too prosecutor and police friendly so the prosecutors aren't used to being held to the higher federal court criminal trial standards. All I really recall about it was they got dragged pretty hard by the federal court and the prosecutors because their slack way of doing things led to a lot of records related to the investigations that should have been kept not being kept or produced to the defendants in discovery.
     
  8. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That may likely be because only 2% of federal cases go to trial. The vast majority are plea bargained out.
    Most defendants are not going to take their case to trial unless they have a VERY high probability of winning.

    It's not that the overall conviction rate is low; rather it's the complete opposite.
    It would make sense that, of the exceedingly small percentage of cases that actually go to trial, prosecutors are only going to win a little more than half of them.

    Prosecutors put extreme pressure on defendants to plea bargain the case out, and not take it to trial. That is just how the current system functions.
    We've discussed how easy it is for prosecutors to coerce even innocent defendants into pleading guilty in other threads.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
  9. Monash

    Monash Well-Known Member

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    In some jurisdictions such as ours a defendant can elect to have a Judge only trial in relation to serious charges. This usually only happens if the defense thinks they have strong grounds to wishes to argue the legal or technical merits of the charge and don't wish to dispute the basic facts in issue.
     
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  10. Le Chef

    Le Chef Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yes, but none of that explains (or even addresses) the disparity between acquittals in federal jury trials versus TBC's. That's what the article is about.

    My own suspicion is that a lot of the acquittals in federal TBC's are for misdemeanors, like DWI's on military bases and assaults on Indian reservations. The data cited by the AO and by Pew don't distinguish between misdemeanors, which both sides are more agreeable to try before a judge, and felonies..
     
  11. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That depends on what you mean by "fare better". The key question you don't address is whether you're looking for the correct judgement or whether you're looking to be acquitted, even if you're guilty.

    All the data presented tells us is that more defendants are acquitted by judges than juries. There is nothing to say whether either are giving the correct judgements though and nothing about the differences between defendants in bench trials compared to those in jury trials.
     
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  12. Le Chef

    Le Chef Well-Known Member Donor

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    Correct. People are jumping to the conclusion that all defendants have a better shot at acquittal by judges than by juries. But every case is different. You'd have to try lots of identical cases, identical in every detail, first before a jury, then before a judge, to be able to hazard an informed opinion.
     
  13. Le Chef

    Le Chef Well-Known Member Donor

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    Why "so called"? What would you have us call a trial that is decided by a jury?
     
  14. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It's because most of the cases never go to trial, and the defendant is pressured into pleading guilty.

    In statistics, it's something called selection bias.

    Most of the cases the prosecutor would be likely to win (if it went to a trial) are never going to go to trial.

    Mathematically, the fact that only 2% of the total cases go to trial, implies that even if the prosecutor lost every single case that happened to go to trial, they would still be winning 98% of the time.

    I do not know what "TBC" means.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  15. Le Chef

    Le Chef Well-Known Member Donor

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    We aren't talking in this thread about the high conviction rate in federal court, or the high guilty plea rate, or the low trial rate. We're talking about ...
    oh, forget it, this has already been explained.

    (TBC = trial before the court, as opposed to trial by jury.)
     
  16. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It might be because usually trial before the court only takes place in very technical situations, where it is believed (by the defense) a jury would not be able to understand the legal details, and the emotion of the case is more likely to result in a conviction than legal logic.

    You can't only look at end result to see which one would be likely to result in a lower probability of conviction, since the details of the case itself have a great deal of influence on which option the defense is likely to select.

    That would be kind of like saying "I don't want to go to the hospital because people who are in the hospital have a higher chance of dying than people in the ordinary population."
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021

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