Question 5 Response 1 – Joel Watts – Reforming the Penal System

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Question 5

Elgin Hushbeck Reply to Question 5

Joel Watts Reply to Question 5

Elgin Hushbeck Question 5 Response 1

Second Reply Set (Both Joel Watts and Elgin Hushbeck)

Q1.) We seem to be in agreement concerning the current functioning of the jury systems, but I am not clear exactly what you mean by “The Jury system must be reworked so that a jury of peers is just that, a jury of peers. Again, an empirical metric must be established to examine and then set forth peerage.”

A1.) Peerage is not a group for males for a male who is being tried. We must look at socio-economic and other factors in determining peerage. My concern is the oftentimes prejudices we bring to bear when we are confronted with decision making situations. Admittedly, I might be less likely to believe someone who was a Tea Party member or a Christian fundamentalist. I would hope that I could be fair, but I would rather have this prevented.

Q2.) A significant problem is the ability of individual citizens to file lawsuits in order to enforce public policies or statues. Such suits are easily exploited to harass and delay, and thus can be used to block legal activities by making them too costly to pursue. In addition this transfer’s the enforcement power from the government to the individual, which is a return to vigilantism and thus a weakening of the rule of law. (Note if you agree with this, it would probably be better to change to a different qu

A2.) I am not sure I would agree easily with this. I believe the individual, with whom the representative part of this representative democratic Republic lies, must have the power to enforce policies where such enforcement is lax. Otherwise, we would not have segregation challenged, nor in many cases, the constitutionality of certain laws ever decided.

Q3.) You said that “Justice is not the amount of money received, but whether or not the cause of the tragedy is averted to prevent the accident from happening again.” I have frequently heard trial lawyers claim that the large awards act as a deterrent, and such suits have affected the behavior of manufactures to make products safer, and if nothing else they entertain us with wacky warning labels. More to the point, would a result that completely eliminated the possibility of reoccurrence, but did nothing for the victim be justice?

A3.) Justice is not retribution, so yes, justice is the elimination of a reoccurrence as much as possible under the law rather than any award given to the victim in damages. I am not against the awarding of damages, but these are rarely deterrents in any meaningful sense.

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