Jurors are guardians of the community safety. In the past, the U.S. Supreme Court has called the citizen jury the “conscience of the community”.
As citizens, members of a community, each of us has a vested interest in ensuring our safety and the safety of our loved ones. At the same time, it is in our own selfish and collective interests to watch out for our fellow citizens. We each gain from having a safe community. Our families, our children and parents, our friends and neighbors, all are better off when we welcome the burden of serving on a jury for the collective good.
A jury trial is a chance to let the jury, as thoughtful and active members of the community, decide what they want to say about community safety issues. In that respect, a civil and a criminal jury are very similar. Both serve the public good; both act as the conscience of our community.
American Jurors have a constitutional right to determine the facts when they are chosen to sit on a jury. This is an important responsibility. This means jurors have the right to decide an accused person’s guilt or innocence in a criminal case, and in personal injury cases, whether a personal injury victim’s injuries were caused by someone else, and the money value of those injuries.
With that right comes the duty to obey the law, respect the system, and follow the judge’s instructions. Learn more about the importance of juries below.
The Jury Trial System in the US
Our citizens’ right to participate as jurors dates back to the Magna Carta, and was adopted as one of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.
Alexis de Toqueville addressed the role of the civil jury in his classic, ”Democracy in America”. Supreme Court justices have expounded at length regarding the right. It is sacred. It gives us, as Americans, protection against having our disputes decided by the political process.
When the political branches pass laws to limit the types of insurance claims and lawsuits that can be pursued, or the amount that an injured person can recover in those insurance claims and lawsuits, we call it “Tort Reform.” Tort Reform directly undermines and waters down the jury’s constitutional right to determine the facts in a lawsuit. It is an unconstitutional way of limiting the rights we, as citizens, have received from our founding fathers.
The Voice of Conscience in the Community
Say a storekeeper puts stuff on the shelves. This act basically says, “Look here, at these things. You don’t need to look at the floor; I keep the floor safe. You do not need to look at the floor; pay your attention here at this stuff on the shelf that I want to sell to you.” There’s nothing wrong with that. We want to have stores. We buy food and things there. Where else would we go?
But what happens if the floor is not safe? Maybe there is a spill or a crack or hole.
As the voice of conscience in the community, the jury has the right and the responsibility to decide what the community conscience says. Is it okay to tell us the floor is safe if it is not?
What about other community rules? Driving rules? Rules of how we must treat each other or interact so we do not cause one another harm? What about those rules? Is it okay to risk interfering with another person’s job for our own selfish reasons? What if we speed or run a red light and risk harming another person? What happens if a police officer is not trained right or just ignores her training and causes harm? Who decides which rules we will enforce as a community? Why should we enforce any of them?
If the jury can express the conscience of the community, they can go home and tell their loved ones that they have protected them by standing for safety. As the conscience of our community, a citizen jury, full of every day, ordinary people like you and me, gets to decide when our community rules are broken, who is responsible, and the value of the damages they have caused.
Contact our Lakewood Personal Injury Attorneys Today
Contact the family run law office of Paysinger Law, P.C. today for a free initial consultation with an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer. We have experience handling many types of personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents, premises liability, car accidents, insurance disputes and more.
You can reach a representative at any time, day or night. Call (303)279-0221 for immediate assistance, or fill out the contact form on this page. At Paysinger Law, P.C., we treat our clients like they’re members of our family. Contact us today and see the difference that family makes.
What Our Clients Say About us
See the difference family makes at Paysinger Law.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I think you did a great job! I will definitely pass your name along to anyone I know who’s hurt for the free consultation.
I don’t know where I would be without the Law Offices of Robert Paysinger. It was a very emotional experience, and I feel as if I owe Mr. Paysinger my life! The other lawyers would promise everything, but it was only here that I felt his integrity and willingness to live up to his word. He and the paralegals were so incredibly helpful throughout the strenuous process of my case. Going through a lawsuit is an emotional roller coaster, but whenever I was confused they would sit and explain everything in terms that I could understand. They provided an emotional support and treated me like family. It’s never about the money there, but about you, if you are upset they will do everything to help you, and work extremely hard for you. They are extremely honest and straight forward. I would recommend Mr. Paysinger to everyone, because they truly and genuinely care about you.
At the Law Offices of Robert Paysinger, I was very pleased with the professionalism and courteousness of everyone who worked on my case. I had a horrible experience with my boss and dealing with my company regarding my workman’s comp. I came to the Paysinger Law Offices and received a settlement for what was needed to further my medical care so that I can heal and get back to work. He defended my rights when they were violated and I am very happy with the results! Thank you!
I, James Pacho, appreciate everything that the Law Offices of Robert Paysinger, PC. For the help of making me get the amount of money I received including reducing my hospital bills, helping to get me a home.
James E. Pacho
Thanks to Robert Paysinger and Thomas Quinn for the hard work with my case. You guys are excellent and I will recommend you to everybody else. Keep doing an excellent job.
Thank you so much for all the hard work to Robert and his staff. I was very happy with all their services.
Thanks, Robert, for all the help with my accidents (both of them). You always promptly returned my calls and were extremely helpful whenever I had questions. After my motorcycle accident, you helped me understand how to better protect myself in the future, and because of that when I got in my car accident a year later, you were the only person I considered calling.
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