Is American freedom superior to European freedom?

Apr 2015
226
Canada
You really need to explain what you mean.
In practice American freedom is not any more superior to European freedom. The sixth amendment for instance guarantees a fair and speedy trail by an impartial jury but we know that minorities are disproportionately targeted by police and given more harsher sentences.
 
Apr 2012
1,026
The Netherlands
In practice American freedom is not any more superior to European freedom. The sixth amendment for instance guarantees a fair and speedy trail by an impartial jury but we know that minorities are disproportionately targeted by police and given more harsher sentences.
Jury duty has always confused me. If I was accused of a false charge then a collection of people with no knowledge of the law are the last people I want judging me.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,104
here

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,224
... Anyone working in/with management of any large company has seen how informal channels work.... How information is disseminated through such informal channels... And how decisions are taken outside of any formal forums or proceedings... Government institutions are not an exception.
I had made this comment a while back in the context of government officials being able (or at least trying to) influence the justice system to get the result they desired..... Some posters thought this to not be possible, others went as far as suggesting this was conspiracy theory grade...

Well, while this is not the UK, Canada is also supposed to have a completely independent justice system.... the attempt at influence has failed in this case , which is why we now know about it, but where there is one coackroach , there are many... And if it does happen in Canada , it does happen in the UK and elsewhere as well

Trudeau denies corruption case wrongdoing

In explosive testimony, ex-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said she faced "sustained" pressure to abandon prosecution of the Quebec-based firm.

Ms Wilson-Raybould told the justice committee on Wednesday she faced had attempts at interference and "veiled threats" from top government officials seeking a legal favour for the Montreal construction firm.
The former justice minister and attorney general said she and her staff faced four months of a "sustained" and "inappropriate effort" to push for a possible deferred prosecution agreement for the construction company.

She said she made clear she was not prepared to help the company avoid a trial and that she believes it was why she was demoted in a Cabinet shuffle in January
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,112
Australia
Jury duty has always confused me. If I was accused of a false charge then a collection of people with no knowledge of the law are the last people I want judging me.
I have served jury duty twice, both times, any matter of law was explained to the Jury by the judge. Of course, one can not expect the jury to be well versed in points of law.

However, the jury can go against the judge's advice. That happened here a few years back; a serial child molester, who had been getting away with it approached one of his relatives and told him he was going to molest his young daughter and there was nothing he could do about it. The man was a police officer, so he put on his police uniform one night, and got his service revolver and went around to visit the pedophile and asked him to come out on to his driveway. Then he shot him in the head.

At the trial, the judge instructed the jury that although there where extenuating circumstances, technically the man MUST be found guilty, any mercy relating to those circumstances or any waving of his punishment will be decided by the judge and will be taken inti account.. The jury came back - not guilty, the judge was outraged . Too bad . IMO - well done jury !
 
Jan 2014
2,455
Westmorland
Jury duty has always confused me. If I was accused of a false charge then a collection of people with no knowledge of the law are the last people I want judging me.
The jury doesn't judge you, as such. There is a judge in the court who deals with legal issues. The job of the jury is to listen to the evidence, decide who they believe and deliver a verdict. The system is geared up so that the jury know precisely what questions they need to ask themselves before delivering their verdict. So, they don't need to be lawyers, as the lawyers in the room - and especially the judge, who delivers a summing up to the jury before they retire to consider their decision - .break the law down into easy to follow guidance.

The system is based around the notion that an accused should be tried by his or her peers and that justice is a collective responsibility, rather than something imposed by distant authority. It probably has its roots in Anglo-Saxon England. If so, then it has contributed far more to the world than the endless, dreary battles which so excite many Anglo-Saxon scholars.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,345
Sydney
there is some difference between US juries and continental ones
in the Napoleonic code , if convicted by a jury , no appeal can be entered
this is based on the principle that the People has spoken and none can question its decision
in practice a judgment can be broken for some technical fault but it is an arduous process

also in Anglo Saxon law the test of guilty is " beyond reasonable doubt "
in some continental jurisdiction it is " by one's innermost belief "

there also is a variance if the jury is unanimous , leading to a hung jury ( and the joke about a well hung jury ) or if there need only a quorum
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,801
Jury duty has always confused me. If I was accused of a false charge then a collection of people with no knowledge of the law are the last people I want judging me.
You have the right to a jury trail but you can waive the right and have a bench trail (decided by a judge) though I am uncertain how easy and which jurisdictions and countries you can do this in.
 
Jan 2014
2,455
Westmorland
You have the right to a jury trail but you can waive the right and have a bench trail (decided by a judge) though I am uncertain how easy and which jurisdictions and countries you can do this in.
In England & Wales, there are three types of offence (the labels may have changed a bit):-

1. Summary only. These are the more minor offences, which can only be heard in a Magistrates Court. The case is heard by magistrates with no jury. The magistrates may be a lay bench (three non-lawyers who volunteer for the role, supported by a legally qualified clerk) or a District Judge.

The vast majority of cases are summary only as, despite what the press and the right-wing loonies would have you believe, most crime is pretty low-rent.

2. Either way. Some charges (including theft) can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or in the Crown Court with a judge and jury. The magistrates decide if they are prepared to offer summary trial. They will decline if they think their sentencing powers are insufficient in the event of a conviction. If the magistrates are prepared to offer summary trial, the accused then gets a choice of whether s/he wants summary trial or trial in the Crown Court by judge and jury.

3. Indictable only. These are the serious offences which only a judge and jury can deal with. The magistrates simply send all of these matters to the Crown Court.