Saturday, October 22, 2005

Juries do not deliberate

Since ostensibly the standard for conviction is beyond reasonable doubt, the prosecution can only be said to have succeeded if all (or almost all, say 11 out of 12) jury members leave the courtroom convinced that the defendant is guilty.

Deliberation simply gives some jury members, or the majority of jury members, an opportunity to browbeat the minority into changing their votes.

In civil courts, a simple majority should do.