Our founding fathers came up with a government composed of three branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Now, I’m sure many of you are reading this (if many read it at all), and you are saying to yourself, "No Sh***! I took civics in elementary school." Well, the country’s actions are speaking louder than those words.
What do I mean? Well, we have gone very far in approving arbitration clauses in contracts from credit cards to buying a car to employment agreements (even when you don’t have a contract of employment per se). In many instances, states have enacted caps on damages. Both of these situations, take matters out of the hands of the jury.
- In arbitration situations, NO JURY!
- Workers compensation cases, NO JURY!
- In ERISA (Employee Retirement Income and Security Act) cases, NO JURY!
- In some states, Caps on medical malpractice damages – less authority for the JURY!
- Caps on claims against Cities and Counties – less authority for the JURY!
Where does it stop? What system would you rather have? Many have complained about the Casey Anthony jury. Would you rather have a police officer arrest you and find you guilty on the spot? Have a panel of three peopel determine your innocence or guilt? What would be better?
Mr. Lester Seigel said it best today in his letter to the editor in the Birmingham News, "To my fellow citizens: It’s important to serve. However imperfect it may be, there’s nobility in a system of jurisprudence that ultimately entrusts verdicts to 12 ordinary people." We should all think like this, and we should evaluate what our politicians are trying to do when they want to limit the role of the JURY because the JURY is the last check on corporate and government abuse.