23629, RE: who's responsible?|
Posted by janey, Mon Jul-24-00 04:32 AM
What to change? See, that's where I get stuck. In a society as large and as impersonal as ours, I don't know whether any system could be other than adversarial. If everyone knows each other and feels a personal stake in society as a whole, then you have the makings of a non-adversarial system. In times when jury trials took place in the context of a small community, jury members were considered to be better qualified if they knew the litigants. Now, if you've even heard any publicity you're disqualified. The real question should be whether your mind is sufficiently open to allow evidence that you were unaware of to impact you.
And recall that the civil litigation (torts) issue is allocation of responsibility for a harm done. I'm hurt, and I think it was your fault so I sue you. After hearing the evidence, the jury is supposed to say, "Well, janey, you understood the danger of sticking your fingers in the toaster when it was plugged in (or whatever), so your 50% responsible. But Toastermaker, you should have reminded janey with a warning label, so you're 50% responsible." It's not supposed to be all or nothing.
On the rights of the accused, I understand your dilemma, but I'm not saying not to use force if necessary. I'm saying ONLY use force IF necessary, and then only NECESSARY force.