Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Imagine that, jurors who can ask questions

Jury duty has interested me, but whenever I am picked I get the feeling I am not really a participant in the trial. Jurors are just passive observers, who suddenly become the most important people in the process.
But starting in September, that will change.
Michigan jurors will be able to take notes, discuss evidence and question witnesses under new rules handed down by the Michigan Supreme Court. (Jurors in criminal trials already had the ability to ask questions. The new rules will apply to all jury trials.
Seems like the right thing to do. As Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. points out, jurors shoulder much of the trial responsibility yet they carry out their duties with too many restrictions. Now they can be “truly involved” in trials.
I think a trial by our peers should allow those peers to get involved with the trial.


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