samhill wrote:It just seems to me that every jury I ever served on we were instructed to make our decision by the law involved & read that law & told that we could ask for clarification or any other question at any time. I would think it's up to the judge in the sentencing aspect to decide too what extent the penalty should be. In most cases there seems to be a lot of lee way in the penalty, it would be nice if the jury could be allowed to perhaps have a way of wording the verdict to express maybe a guilty "but" type thing. As a nation of laws if we start allowing jurists to determine if they agree with the law or not we are losing something with our (maybe not perfect system) but far better than most. It always struck me funny that everyone involved swears to tell the truth except the lawyers & how often the accused is advised not to testify & in many cases it's probably only them & their attorney's that know the truth.
Lawyers are already held by the swearing in as well as Judges prior to becoming lawyers and Judges (so they are held to that standard from day 1 even though they are not sworn in at each trial). A jury can give a statement of request to a Judge regarding their decision which one would "hope" might lead the Judge into what their intent was and we would "hope" a Judge might take that into consideration during sentencing
But the bottom line in my mind is that the JURY and ONLY the JURY can determine guilt or innocence of the charges brought. I don't even like the whole "pardon" thing with Gov. and President (its absurd to me that a Gov or President can totally wipe out a Jury Verdict with one stroke of a pen
They should be aloud maybe to force a review by a Jury of the people for a determination of a Pardon but it should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be "the people" who determine guilt or innocence in each case and like or not that is what needs to be upheld (right or wrong, good or bad, for whatever reason they dictate) because anything else is a dictatorship not a democracy.