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Another View of Grand Jury Selection

July 28, 1985

Re your editorial "A Jury of One's Peers" (July 14):

I personally question the ability of any jury to arrive at a fair and equitable determination when, in fact, those placed in such a position of responsibility cannot relate (in so many instances) to the real issues at hand: for instance, any number of specialized fields, such as the computer technology.

I find it very suspect, given the way juries are selected, that those who are selected could relate to the issues at hand unless they had full and complete understanding of these related fields from personal or firsthand experience.

Since we are a society that has become very specialized for the sake of expediency and perfection, it would be very inappropriate to allow jurors to be selected who are not familiar with all the highly specialized fields which now confront society. I think it would be almost impossible for a jury not familiar with that field to arrive at an equitable decision.

Choosing a jury reflecting a certain community's ethnic makeup does not in itself provide an equitable or fair decision if the jury cannot relate to the intellectual aspects of the situation.

Without a doubt, our judicial system and our jury system need to be revamped.

I propose legislation that states if a jury cannot make an intellectual decision and/or formulate an opinion and not be influenced by the other jurors or outside forces, or consider the facts as they relate to any specialized field, they should also be at risk to some degree.

Such legislation would refine the human element and the democratic process to provide for equity within the system.


Santa Ana

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