In reference to one's self-ownership, again, it's feasible
that a less intelligent person could make an error in
reasoning, leading to an improper incarceration of a
3 - Case-hardened judges
It is often stated that judges are too "case-hardened," meaning they are desensitised to the rigours of trying
defendants. However, one must realise that judges are often
legally trained and in many cases are ex-lawyers. Since they
possess legal training, they hold greater scope to ascertain
the facts of a case. We know that in a trial, the self-ownership
of the defendant is at stake. A judge, who determines
innocence and guilt in addition to sentencing, can
objectively make head or tail of the case's facts.
Remember that jurors are often lay people with no legal
training at all. It is unreasonable to expect them to
understand complex legal principles or legal concepts such
causation, etc., off the cuff. If a judge is proven to be
corrupt or faulty in his role, then he can be replaced and
sanctioned. Jurors, since they are not employed by the
state, cannot be recalled if their reasoning is erroneous.
4 - Judgement by "your peers"?
The people who coexist with you in your community aren't
vetted for their maturity, integrity, rationality or
judgement, when called for jury service. Human beings have
individual personalities, talents and abilities. We are all
unique. Ergo, how are "your peers" in a good position to
judge you and determine your self-ownership if their
reasoning skills aren't in parity? In reference to my second
point the best and brightest aren't selected for every jury
Of course, in the free society, law courts would compete within
the free market. Yes, some court systems may opt for jury
trials. Still, jury trials would not be needed to be a felt
in the free society.
Judges who determine facts and sentence would prosper if they
offer fair sentences and adhere to any legal training they
receive. Those who do not would not prosper in the marketplace.
Naturally, people wouldn't like to be burdened by unfair
verdicts and shoddy "drumhead-like" trials. If court services
can properly cater to consumer demands in that regard, then
there is no reason why jury trials are necessary.
Dispute Resolution Organisation (DRO) model formulated by
Stefan Molyneux is an example of how private protection
agencies and courts could operate in a free and voluntary
society. DRO's that offered fair verdicts would gain extra
customers over those that didn't. Since DRO's would be private
concerns, they would exist within a free market, as all other
goods and services would.
Is there any good within jury trials? Can they successfully
exist within a libertarian society? Base human nature would not
be corrupted within "libertopia." So the negative aspects of
jury trials would still be present. Also, in a completely
voluntary society, how would one successfully vet those suitable
to sit on juries? Maybe DRO's could form links in this regard.
The same dilemmas, as I've mentioned previously, would remain.
DRO's would not necessarily contain medical data on their
clients or any kind of measure of their intelligence. No DRO
would be bound to necessarily gather such information. If a
specific DRO were too intrusive in collecting information on its
clients, then it may lose customers in the marketplace.
Even as a market anarchist, I'm not a great fan of jury trials.
I believe the concept has too many flaws and isn't pragmatic. In
the free society, DRO's could opt for jury trials if they choose.
Nonetheless, I see no reason why criminal trials without juries
cannot be successful within the free society.