Re "Divining Potential Jurors' Real Racial Attitudes a Daunting Challenge," by Bill Boyarsky, Sept. 28:
What makes anyone so smug that they think they can devise a questionnaire to determine jurors' hidden bigotries without revealing their own? Every human being has biases, even Mother Teresa. The only truly honest among us are those who recognize their natural biases, put them in their proper prospective and don't let them be destructive.
One consultant asks: "Is there any reason why you would hesitate to buy a Japanese car?" This question shows that the consultant believes this will root out a prejudice against people of color, but a fuller explanation may be that many Americans hesitate to buy German cars, especially Jews, and even more refuse to buy cars from Sweden or England because they want to keep other Americans, including racial minorities, working in American factories.
This consultant harbors an obvious stereotypical prejudice that Americans are likely to be more racist than others. A little objective knowledge of world history, and reading any newspaper, indicates that we are no more racist than any other group, and less than most.
* Re "Jury System Is Held in Low Regard by Most," Times Poll, Sept. 27:
Traced originally in the Anglo-Saxon courts around the 12th Century, today, outside of some English-speaking countries, there is less recourse to a jury and more voices are raised about eliminating it.
What is the reason of using a number of naturally biased and mostly undereducated persons to follow the complicated advice and incomprehensible instructions given by the bench?
Also, why should a jury of 12 people offer always a unanimous decision when the nine members of this country's Supreme Court almost always express a dissenting opinion?
* Would it be possible to change the way jurors are selected? How about a pool of people who have chosen to be jurors, are well-trained, tested and certified in a program to produce competent jurors, and reasonably compensated for their work? They would be available for the months they have signed up for, and then would be selected randomly.
A system using people who want to be jurors would eliminate the lengthy process of trying to form a jury with people who can't serve.