In both poker and discussing Hebert I felt I had a problem not having any skin in the game. I wasn't "actually" convicting anyone and I wasn't "actually" losing any money. I'm curious how well we can relate to these tough questions/phenomena without actually experiencing them. What does it actually feel like to be in control over someone's freedom? This lack of skin in the game also carries into the protests. They haven't threatened me personally or my city so it is all a bit more abstract/theoretical.
I thought this was a wonderful class in all three phases: First, I thought having the threads environment so that everyone could share their reaction to yesterdays event was a great move, and then the discussion was very valuable. The format for the discussion of hebert was great too. Lastly, i had too much fun playing poker, I was the aggressor at my table with some folks who may not have been as prepared, but I have a feeling things will catch up in the future. Cant wait for what the future holds!
This is a wonderful class with a little bit of everything. I think it was especially important to discuss yesterday's events, especially since so often in law school we refuse to discuss or even acknowledge current events. In terms of the case and juror role in general, I think we could have gone at length that jurors can serve as the community perspective on the law, and I think jurors should use the power to serve as a check on prosecutors (especially since there really isn't a check--only in very limited circumstances). I also just really enjoyed playing poker. I think it was interesting to play with people that I know and did not know. I hope we can maybe do more of this in future classes!
I don't view juries as nullifying as acting against their mandate. In fact, I think that the jury exists precisely to inject discretion in a system dominated by the discretion of another actor: the prosecutor. While it may be true that nullifying juries are not "following the law," they own the ultimate verdict and reflect the sentiment of the community. When we punish, we judge another, but we also cast a reflection back onto our society. What that means is that it's a constitutive exercise; it tells us who we are, and what we want to be. I think juries should freely exercise that expressive and normative power whenever they feel that it is right.
A lot happened today. Our opening discussion was difficult but necessary, and I valued the exchange of perspectives. I obviously have my own views, but I'm comforted by the fact that most people feel comfortable expressing their opinions (at least, it seems that way from where I sit). The adjudication we got to participate in was also quite interesting, although it was somewhat disappointing to learn that all my fellow jurors and I shared the same view from the get-go. I considered taking the other side to get the debate going, but then decided it was more satisfying to express my heartfelt view. And poker, well. I love poker. It was great to play with my peers, and I think the exercise will only get more interesting as we get more experienced as players. Looking forward to tomorrow!
I enjoyed all three aspects of today's class. I think it was important to address and discuss what is going on in our country, and then to also bring it back to our role as jurors in this class. Poker was also fun and I am excited to play again and continue learning my own strategy as well as how others approach playing.
i was moved by people's takes on the national situation. Many important points were raised but I could also sense a hopelessness...which is a feeling I have had to sit with in the last 24 hours. The Hebert discussion was illuminating --I liked the idea of juries as sovereign and not always acting as directed by the judge. I was pretty clueless in poker, it's going to take a bit of time for me to understand the game.
The jury deliberation was interesting today. I changed my mind about the appropriate verdict after hearing from the other jurors. I wonder if jurors, after leaving the jury room once the decision is made, have the silent reflection time and consider how they were influenced by the mass, instead of holding to their original opinion after hearing the facts.
Our reflective activity towards the beginning of class, where we wrote threads about how we felt regarding the aftermath of yesterday's events, assisted our class in pondering ways in which we could move forward, with expectations that we would utilize our skills in order to help prevent similar occurrences in the future. With the Hebert case, our group struggled with the fact that, if we approached this case from a strictly textualist standpoint, the defendant would have been found guilty. At the same time, we did not believe that the intent of the legislators who made the law in question was to include individuals such as that case's defendant. We were able to reconcile these thought processes via the use of the concept of jury nullification for this case. When we played poker, I enjoyed this experience. However, it was evident that I needed a lot of improvement, and I plan to work, so that I can progress in this endeavor.
I very much enjoyed our discussions today. Our opening discussion about the events of yesterday I thought was quite productive. I think opening it with the Threads contributions was helpful, because it allowed people to vent some emotion pseudonymously. The discussion itself identified many of the key issues, but we didn’t quite get to talking about any possible solutions. To be fair, I’m not sure there are viable solutions at the moment. It all comes back to the ideas of the course — discourse and ideal discourse when the sides can’t agree on a set of basic principles or facts. I also thought our jury discussion was fruitful. I was inspired to see so many classmates enter a not guilty verdict. It’s easy to just throw up our hands and say the jury just finds that facts, so we’re not complicit in a potentially unjust application of the law. But I believe that is abdicating the jury’s responsibility as the representative of the people in the legal system — as the check on prosecutorial discretion, which has been shown over and over again to be biased in empirical studies. A jury nullifying an unjust verdict doesn’t fix the system — and it certainly is another entry point into the system for bias — but if, in the right circumstance, it can prevent one kid from having his life ruined by an overzealous prosecutor, then those jurors in that case should take that opportunity and enact some justice.