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Author Topic: Jury duty  (Read 9007 times) Average Rating: 0
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #45 on: November 05, 2007, 11:30:10 AM »

That's an interesting way of looking at it, but somewhat related reasoning led me to the opposite conclusion.  I came to the conclusion that Christianity would indicate that I should protect the innocent.  To that end, criminal law is not about punishing the guilty, but about separating them from the innocent so that they cannot harm them.

I like SS99's take on it. I'd also add that whilst defending the interests of the innocent is an important aspect of Christian lawyering (which is why, in my essay, I furthermore argued that Christians ought to respond positively to that position within the profession that calls for lawyers to take seriously the public service dimension intrisic to the very concept of a "profession", and to hence pursue endeavours such as pro bono work and "cause lawyering"), it is no more important and maybe even less so (after all, consider the paramount concern of Christ's mission--Mk. 2: 17), to potentially saving guilty clients from the greater consequences that await them at the final judgment.
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« Reply #46 on: November 05, 2007, 11:44:58 AM »

I like SS99's take on it. I'd also add that whilst defending the interests of the innocent is an important aspect of Christian lawyering (which is why, in my essay, I furthermore argued that Christians ought to respond positively to that position within the profession that calls for lawyers to take seriously the public service dimension intrisic to the very concept of a "profession", and to hence pursue endeavours such as pro bono work and "cause lawyering"), it is no more important and maybe even less so (after all, consider the paramount concern of Christ's mission--Mk. 2: 17), to potentially saving guilty clients from the greater consequences that await them at the final judgment.

I'm not sure I buy that reasoning.  That would seem to suggest that it's more important for me to help someone avoid the consequences of their wrong actions in the hope they might repent than it is to prevent their doing harm to yet another person when I am reasonably certain that they will do so.  Further, by assisting the perpetrator to remain free, I have now become a participant in his new wrong action and thus helped to harm the most recent victim.  Are you actually suggesting that it is my responsibility to assist someone in harming others?
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« Reply #47 on: November 05, 2007, 11:45:34 AM »

A humble man sitting in a simple jury today does not enjoy this elevated position, but is merely asked to look at factual evidence and make a sound judgement for the good of social order.

I don't want to belabor this point, but the "factual evidence" is only a part of what a juror must consider.  If it were truly about the "facts of the case", then there would be no need for jurors at all, since trained professionals (judges, lawyers, expert witnesses, etc) would be better suited to determining the facts. 

In the American tradition, the "humble man sitting in a simple jury" is far more powerful than the judge, prosecutor, or defense attorneys.  We are forced to consider all of the factors the judge considers, and more besides.  This makes the situation much more complex and morally difficult....which is probably exactly what the founding fathers intended.

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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #48 on: November 05, 2007, 12:02:48 PM »

I'm not sure I buy that reasoning.  That would seem to suggest that it's more important for me to help someone avoid the consequences of their wrong actions in the hope they might repent than it is to prevent their doing harm to yet another person when I am reasonably certain that they will do so. 

Well, here you are making a rather loaded presumption viz. that you are "reasonably certain" they will continue their grievous misconduct. The first problem with this is that you could never be so "reasonably certain" before accepting the brief in the first place, and the issue here, after all, is whether or not you should accept that brief  because once you do it is your professional duty to defend that client to the best of your ability. Secondly, there is the issue of what "reasonably certain" means in the first place. I am not sure about the law in the U.S. but we have professional rules regulating circumstances in which a lawyer becomes "reasonably certain" that the accused will continue his/her criminal activities.
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« Reply #49 on: November 05, 2007, 12:20:04 PM »

Well, here you are making a rather loaded presumption viz. that you are "reasonably certain" they will continue their grievous misconduct. The first problem with this is that you could never be so "reasonably certain" before accepting the brief in the first place, and the issue here, after all, is whether or not you should accept that brief  because once you do it is your professional duty to defend that client to the best of your ability. Secondly, there is the issue of what "reasonably certain" means in the first place. I am not sure about the law in the U.S. but we have professional rules regulating circumstances in which a lawyer becomes "reasonably certain" that the accused will continue his/her criminal activities.

I wasn't intending "reasonably certain" to be used as a term of art in my previous post.  For the sake of argument, let's posit a defendant who has two prior convictions with probation in each instance for domestic violence.  He's on trial for a third domestic violence offense.  Both the defense attorney and the prosecutor have a gut feeling that this guy is going to turn around and commit the same offense again somewhere down the line.  Your position seems to be that, as a Christian, it's better to defend the man in the hopes of acquittal and his subsequent repentance than it is to prosecute him with an eye towards keeping his wife from going to the hospital again.  As a Christian, which takes priority?
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« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2007, 12:24:15 PM »

I like the way that EkhristosAnesti has expressed the Orthodox view. I believe that Christ isn't a judge in the same way that we view a judge in our worldly view. We judge according to how the world judges. Christ judges without judging. Lets use the same verse as EA posted about the prostitute as an example. When the people were ready to stone her. What did Christ say to them? He said he who is without sin cast the first stone. That was a judgement. The people realizing they were wrong and dropped their stones. They judged themselves. Christs didn't judge anyone. It was their own consciences that accused them and judged them. Christ doesn't judge the way the world does.

John 8:15
You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.
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« Reply #51 on: November 05, 2007, 12:42:48 PM »

Demetrios,

What, then, do we do with criminals who are a harm to society and a harm to the innocent?  Do we simply let them roam free without any accountability?  It seems to me that you are advocating a society whereby none are judge for their wordly actions even if those actions bring great harm upon the innocent.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #52 on: November 05, 2007, 12:46:52 PM »

I wasn't intending "reasonably certain" to be used as a term of art in my previous post.  For the sake of argument, let's posit a defendant who has two prior convictions with probation in each instance for domestic violence.  He's on trial for a third domestic violence offense.  Both the defense attorney and the prosecutor have a gut feeling that this guy is going to turn around and commit the same offense again somewhere down the line.  Your position seems to be that, as a Christian, it's better to defend the man in the hopes of acquittal and his subsequent repentance than it is to prosecute him with an eye towards keeping his wife from going to the hospital again.  As a Christian, which takes priority?

I am not drawing any comparison between defending and prosecuting the same individual (how many lawyers actually get to choose between prosecuting and defending the same individual anyway?), I am drawing out the reasons for which a lawyer presented with the option of accepting or refusing a brief on behalf of an accused should accept rather than refuse that brief. In the case you present, my trust in the Grace of God and faith in Christian anthropology (which dictate the very real potential for change in spite of the nature and frequency of past wrongs), would take precedence over a petty "gut feeling."

I think I also need to stress that the hope for the accused's repentence is not merely grounded in his final acquittal. Its foundation is the very lawyer-client relationship itself. The lawyer in this case provides not only professional service but, more importantly, ministry. My views are ultimately based on a theological variant of Child Fried’s "special purpose friend" theory.

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« Reply #53 on: November 05, 2007, 12:48:14 PM »

I wasn't intending "reasonably certain" to be used as a term of art in my previous post.  For the sake of argument, let's posit a defendant who has two prior convictions with probation in each instance for domestic violence.  He's on trial for a third domestic violence offense.  Both the defense attorney and the prosecutor have a gut feeling that this guy is going to turn around and commit the same offense again somewhere down the line.  Your position seems to be that, as a Christian, it's better to defend the man in the hopes of acquittal and his subsequent repentance than it is to prosecute him with an eye towards keeping his wife from going to the hospital again.  As a Christian, which takes priority?
What takes priority is your salvation. Your choice determans your salvation. That is why it is better not to be up in the hot seat.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2007, 12:53:54 PM »

Demetrios,

What, then, do we do with criminals who are a harm to society and a harm to the innocent?  Do we simply let them roam free without any accountability?  It seems to me that you are advocating a society whereby none are judge for their wordly actions even if those actions bring great harm upon the innocent.


Unfortunately they have put the burden on us. Why do that? If there are indeed judges. Let them handle it.
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« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2007, 01:19:07 PM »

What takes priority is your salvation. Your choice determans your salvation. That is why it is better not to be up in the hot seat.

But we can also be judged for inaction; for instance, many people tell us that "you should never seek to be a priest." But St John Chrysostom makes it clear on "On the Priesthood" that if you refuse to be a priest and you are called to it, you will be judged for that too.
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« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2007, 01:21:34 PM »

But we can also be judged for inaction; for instance, many people tell us that "you should never seek to be a priest." But St John Chrysostom makes it clear on "On the Priesthood" that if you refuse to be a priest and you are called to it, you will be judged for that too.

read reply #50. The person going against gods will. Will feel the hell fire.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2007, 02:10:44 PM »

Unfortunately they have put the burden on us. Why do that? If there are indeed judges. Let them handle it.

So you would be willing to put the burden on someone else who may or may not be as impartial as you wish they were?  The whole reasoning behind our modern system of jury trials stems from the desire for an accused to not be judged by a monarch or other official who had the power to impose a possible, even probably, arbitrary judgment upon the accused. 

The jury trial is one of the foundational institutions of Western civilization after the Magna Carta and many of our rights and duties, especially freedom of religion, flows from that foundation.  It's one thing to have reservations about having the literal power of life and death over a person, but in a civil or non-capital trial, it's shirking your responsibility to Caesar as legitimate worldly authority, a responsibility emphasised by Christ Himself and clarified in Apostolic teaching. 

We are called to be our brother's keeper, and if that involves sitting in a jury box to decide if the accused is guilty or innocent, then so be it. 
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« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2007, 02:44:55 PM »

So you would be willing to put the burden on someone else who may or may not be as impartial as you wish they were?  The whole reasoning behind our modern system of jury trials stems from the desire for an accused to not be judged by a monarch or other official who had the power to impose a possible, even probably, arbitrary judgment upon the accused. 

The jury trial is one of the foundational institutions of Western civilization after the Magna Carta and many of our rights and duties, especially freedom of religion, flows from that foundation.  It's one thing to have reservations about having the literal power of life and death over a person, but in a civil or non-capital trial, it's shirking your responsibility to Caesar as legitimate worldly authority, a responsibility emphasised by Christ Himself and clarified in Apostolic teaching. 

We are called to be our brother's keeper, and if that involves sitting in a jury box to decide if the accused is guilty or innocent, then so be it. 

You have put a very Protestant interpretation to Christs words. Christ was being baited into a trap. Christians had announced that he is their king and the Jews tried to have him killed by Cesar for claiming to be a king. It has nothing to do with any political system. Never the less one over 1800 years later.

Quote
Paying Taxes to Caesar
 20Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
 23He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24"Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"

 25"Caesar's," they replied.
      He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

 26They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

John 19:12
From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar."
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #59 on: November 05, 2007, 02:48:42 PM »

There is a big difference, though, in being called by God and being called by the state.  The state's actions can be generally just or generally unjust, while God's actions are always just. 

This is why I find the (out of context) quoting of "render unto Caesar" so problematic.  Our jury system is such that individual jurors have absolute freedom to vote according to their consciences, regardless of the judge's instructions.  After all, we live in a country whose founders prescribed rebellion if the state oversteps its bounds.  If we consider the current political officeholders to be "Caesar", then how can we make sense of our duties as citizens according to the founders?

I'm not arguing that we can never sanction people for their actions (victims must be protected), but that the popular understanding of "render unto Caesar" contributes little here.
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« Reply #60 on: November 05, 2007, 03:22:23 PM »

Perhaps my use of Christ's words re: Caesar are not contributing to my argument and I apologize for that.  However, St. Paul's exhortations to Titus still stand and we understand those words as Scripture and, hence, from the Holy Spirit.

The Church has always recognized the rights of the legitimate secular authority to deal with secular matters in secular ways, especially in the realm of criminal justice.  As I have stated, in the United States, the jury trial is, for the time being, the legitimate authority.  As Anastasios pointed out above, the choice to not do good is just as much of a sin as doing evil.  By shirking one's duty to serve on a jury when called, we may very possible be choosing to not be the voice of reason and the voice of Christ which may protect an innocent person from being wrongly convicted.  Punishment of the guilty is not the pressing reason for serving on a jury, but the protection of the innocent.
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« Reply #61 on: November 05, 2007, 03:43:04 PM »

Perhaps my use of Christ's words re: Caesar are not contributing to my argument and I apologize for that.  However, St. Paul's exhortations to Titus still stand and we understand those words as Scripture and, hence, from the Holy Spirit.

The Church has always recognized the rights of the legitimate secular authority to deal with secular matters in secular ways, especially in the realm of criminal justice.  As I have stated, in the United States, the jury trial is, for the time being, the legitimate authority.  As Anastasios pointed out above, the choice to not do good is just as much of a sin as doing evil.  By shirking one's duty to serve on a jury when called, we may very possible be choosing to not be the voice of reason and the voice of Christ which may protect an innocent person from being wrongly convicted.  Punishment of the guilty is not the pressing reason for serving on a jury, but the protection of the innocent.

I'm not to sure you can reconcile church and state. Both are kingdoms. I don't believe there is a worldly view similar to Gods. The point is that we will be judged as individuals and not as countymen. If something is considered patriotic but goes against gods teaching. Does that leave us liable? If your country sends you to drop a bomb on innocent people. Will there blood be on the government witch has no real existence as an individual or will you be judged for it?
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« Reply #62 on: November 05, 2007, 04:04:35 PM »

Of course the church and the state will always be at odds in some way, shape or form.  As you said, there is no worldly view similar to God's.  However, unless we are going to truly drop out of the world and live the life of a monk, we must live in the world and do our best in order to live up to God's will.  If God has chosen us to serve on a jury, then we should serve on it.  We may very well save an innocent person from misjudgment.

Your analogy of serving on a civil or even criminal jury (in a non-capital case, especially) and dropping a bomb on innocent civilians ala Dresden or Hiroshima/Nagasaki is not a good one.  As I've repeatedly stated, your view of a jury as being solely an instrument of punishment is flawed.  It also serves as a vindicator for the unjustly accused, a role that is most certainly within the realm of the Christian.  As I have stated, we are our brother's keeper and the jury system is one way in which we can live out that role.
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« Reply #63 on: November 05, 2007, 04:19:40 PM »

Of course the church and the state will always be at odds in some way, shape or form.  As you said, there is no worldly view similar to God's.  However, unless we are going to truly drop out of the world and live the life of a monk, we must live in the world and do our best in order to live up to God's will.  If God has chosen us to serve on a jury, then we should serve on it.  We may very well save an innocent person from misjudgment.

Your analogy of serving on a civil or even criminal jury (in a non-capital case, especially) and dropping a bomb on innocent civilians ala Dresden or Hiroshima/Nagasaki is not a good one.  As I've repeatedly stated, your view of a jury as being solely an instrument of punishment is flawed.  It also serves as a vindicator for the unjustly accused, a role that is most certainly within the realm of the Christian.  As I have stated, we are our brother's keeper and the jury system is one way in which we can live out that role.
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Why is it that your bringing up just the finer points of being a juror. One could just the same also send an Innocent person to jail. Or for that matter send a guilty person free. I'm not quite getting your point. If you are stating that we are doing Gods work. Than I certainly don't agree.
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« Reply #64 on: November 05, 2007, 04:35:42 PM »

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Why is it that your bringing up just the finer points of being a juror. One could just the same also send an Innocent person to jail. Or for that matter send a guilty person free. I'm not quite getting your point. If you are stating that we are doing Gods work. Than I certainly don't agree.


I am emphasizing that aspect of being a juror because you seem to be emphasizing the aspect of sending someone to jail.  The beautiful thing about a jury is that one person does not carry the whole verdict.  Juries must, by definition, reach a consensus and if that consensus cannot be reached (eg. a hung jury) then the trial must start over, sending a message to both prosecution and defense that they had better do some more work to better present their particular side.

I really don't understand how you can say that jury trials are not okay, yet the appointment of a judge to adjudicate such cases (either by election or governmental appointment) is quite all right.  Are you not just simply telling someone else that they can sin by being a judge?

Again, I ask you, what is the difference, for you in this context, between a civil jury and a civil judge?
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« Reply #65 on: November 05, 2007, 04:50:57 PM »


I am emphasizing that aspect of being a juror because you seem to be emphasizing the aspect of sending someone to jail.  The beautiful thing about a jury is that one person does not carry the whole verdict.  Juries must, by definition, reach a consensus and if that consensus cannot be reached (eg. a hung jury) then the trial must start over, sending a message to both prosecution and defense that they had better do some more work to better present their particular side.

I really don't understand how you can say that jury trials are not okay, yet the appointment of a judge to adjudicate such cases (either by election or governmental appointment) is quite all right.  Are you not just simply telling someone else that they can sin by being a judge.



Again, I ask you, what is the difference, for you in this context, between a civil jury and a civil judge?

They may not know there sinning. They may believe they are doing gods work. Power to them. I do know that I am sinning. That is the difference.
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« Reply #66 on: November 05, 2007, 04:54:01 PM »

They may not know there sinning. They may believe they are doing gods work. Power to them. I do know that I am sinning. That is the difference.

I really still don't understand your reasoning, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Please pray for me.
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« Reply #67 on: November 05, 2007, 05:06:27 PM »

The Church has always recognized the rights of the legitimate secular authority to deal with secular matters in secular ways, especially in the realm of criminal justice.  As I have stated, in the United States, the jury trial is, for the time being, the legitimate authority.  As Anastasios pointed out above, the choice to not do good is just as much of a sin as doing evil.  By shirking one's duty to serve on a jury when called, we may very possible be choosing to not be the voice of reason and the voice of Christ which may protect an innocent person from being wrongly convicted.  Punishment of the guilty is not the pressing reason for serving on a jury, but the protection of the innocent. 

Schultz(-ie? Wink ), I don't know why people aren't getting your point.

It can and should be argued that trial by jury is solely to protect the innocent; the guilty are to be found and taken care of by the Prosecutors and Police.  If juries were to make sure that the guilty would get punished, then they would have the power to arrest, investigate, etc.  Instead, they have the right to inquire about evidence presented and rule of law, in order to verify the facts and make sure that one of their own is not being wrongfully accused.

If juries were about convicting the guilty, then they would only fail when guilty men go free; when the innocent are convicted, it is only a partial failure, since they were being overly cautious and trying to protect society.  But juries are about protecting the innocent; they fail when innocent are convicted, and only partially fail when the guilty go free, as they are erring on the side of caution not wanting to impinge on the liberty of one who appears innocent.  Proving guilt is the responsibility of the prosecutor; they are the ones who begin to cast judgment. 

(IMO: When the people went to stone the Adulteress, they weren't the jury - they were prosecution and executioner.  Christ was the Jury - taking the evidence into account, and making the decision as to whether or not punishment was fit).
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« Reply #68 on: November 05, 2007, 05:14:35 PM »

Demetrios,

    Where I disagree with how you are characterizing is the entire notion of "judgment".  I'm not even sure that is what juries do...  

     Since I'm a trial lawyer, lets take any civil case and see what a jury does.  As I like to tell jurors, they are the "judges of the facts", but that does not mean they are holding anyone in judgement.  I'll clarify...

     In New York City, the law requires that business owners maintain their properties in reasonably safe condition.  So, lets say Demetrios is walking along, right by Anastasios Inc.'s property where the sidewalk is broken up and there is no lighting in the area.  Demetrios is walking by one day at dusk and takes a flop on a the sidewalk in disrepair and breaks his arm.

So, we know what the law says about keeping things in  "reasonably safe condition", so what does the jury have to decide?

1.   Did Anastasios Inc, keep its property in reasonably safe condition?  If a jury says yes, case is over.  No personal judgment on anyone.

2.   If they decide no, then they answer:  Was the condition of defendant's property the proximate cause of plaintiff's fall and injury?  If no, case over.  No personal judgment.

3.  If yes, then they will be asked to determine how much comparative fault the plaintiff had and what if any monetary compensation he/she is entitled to.

Any which way you slice it, there is no personal judgment.  They have not adjudicated the anyone is a bad person or doomed.  All they have decided is that a certain set of facts fits into an element of the law (or not).  
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« Reply #69 on: November 05, 2007, 05:26:04 PM »

Demetrios,

    Where I disagree with how you are characterizing is the entire notion of "judgment".  I'm not even sure that is what juries do... 

     Since I'm a trial lawyer, lets take any civil case and see what a jury does.  As I like to tell jurors, they are the "judges of the facts", but that does not mean they are holding anyone in judgement.  I'll clarify...

     In New York City, the law requires that business owners maintain their properties in reasonably safe condition.  So, lets say Demetrios is walking along, right by Anastasios Inc.'s property where the sidewalk is broken up and there is no lighting in the area.  Demetrios is walking by one day at dusk and takes a flop on a the sidewalk in disrepair and breaks his arm.

So, we know what the law says about keeping things in  "reasonably safe condition", so what does the jury have to decide?

1.   Did Anastasios Inc, keep its property in reasonably safe condition?  If a jury says yes, case is over.  No personal judgment on anyone.

2.   If they decide no, then they answer:  Was the condition of defendant's property the proximate cause of plaintiff's fall and injury?  If no, case over.  No personal judgment.

3.  If yes, then they will be asked to determine how much comparative fault the plaintiff had and what if any monetary compensation he/she is entitled to.

Any which way you slice it, there is no personal judgment.  They have not adjudicated the anyone is a bad person or doomed.  All they have decided is that a certain set of facts fits into an element of the law (or not). 

Great example.  Even in Criminal cases, juries are not condemning the character of a person, but rather deliberating about an action.  Any comments made about character ("evil person", etc.) are normally made by the judge, and are editorial comments made after the trial.  They are deciding whether or not the people who are making the accusation (i.e. the prosecution/police) are correct or incorrect - with a preference to protecting innocence.

Would it be safe to say that the Israelite condemnation for Adultery was not only a statement of fact about an action, but also a judgment of character?  If this is the case, then Jesus' actions in saving the life of the Adulteress acknowledged that she did the act (He didn't say that she wasn't an adulteress), and provided no punishment - the equivalent of a jury convicting someone, and then showing leniency in the sentencing phase.
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« Reply #70 on: November 05, 2007, 05:33:54 PM »



(IMO: When the people went to stone the Adulteress, they weren't the jury - they were prosecution and executioner.  Christ was the Jury - taking the evidence into account, and making the decision as to whether or not punishment was fit).

So in other words let everybody off the hook. Just as Christ did to the adulteress.  angel
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« Reply #71 on: November 05, 2007, 05:45:24 PM »

So in other words let everybody off the hook. Just as Christ did to the adulteress.  angel

Ha ha ha.  Nice one.  If you can read into the defendant's heart and discern that no punishment will be better than punishment, then go ahead. He didn't say she was innocent - not off the hook by any means.  He left punishment between her and her Maker.  "Go, and sin no more."
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« Reply #72 on: November 05, 2007, 06:01:46 PM »

Ha ha ha.  Nice one.  If you can read into the defendant's heart and discern that no punishment will be better than punishment, then go ahead. He didn't say she was innocent - not off the hook by any means.  He left punishment between her and her Maker.  "Go, and sin no more."

Exactly. The event and His actions were not about her and her guilt, but about the quilt of the avenging accusers.
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« Reply #73 on: November 05, 2007, 11:39:40 PM »

Ha ha ha.  Nice one.  If you can read into the defendant's heart and discern that no punishment will be better than punishment, then go ahead. He didn't say she was innocent - not off the hook by any means.  He left punishment between her and her Maker.  "Go, and sin no more."

I don't quite understand you. He was her maker.  He left judgement on her shoulders. "Go, and sin no more."
If she continued to sin she would be the cause of her death.
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« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2007, 11:50:42 PM »

read reply #50. The person going against gods will. Will feel the hell fire.

In post #50 you expressed the modernist idea that Christ doesn't judge, which ignores basically the liturgical texts of the Church and most of the subsequent history of the Church, in favor of a stretched interpretation of some passages taken out of context in order to justify a "Christ is a nice guy who would never judge" attitude.

Even if what you say is true, the people in hell are not going to feel any better and God still will sustain them for eternity knowing they are suffering.

At any rate, you never answered my point; we can be judged for inaction. If God calls us to further righteousness by imprisoning a child molester and you refuse to sit on the jury because you are afraid of making the wrong choice, I don't see how you are exercising your God-given conscience nor are you doing his will. And I think you will be judged for inaction.
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« Reply #75 on: November 05, 2007, 11:57:48 PM »

I'm not to sure you can reconcile church and state. Both are kingdoms. I don't believe there is a worldly view similar to Gods.

I think St Justinian and St Constantine would have a different opinion.

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The point is that we will be judged as individuals and not as countymen. If something is considered patriotic but goes against gods teaching. Does that leave us liable? If your country sends you to drop a bomb on innocent people.

Killing soldiers in battle of course is not murder according to the canons of the Church, but killing innocent people is of course a sin. Again, conscience dictates. I would definitely not murder someone innocent even if it meant me being court martialled (although it is hard to condemn soldiers that accidently kill in the heat of battle since it is such a confusing situation). In other words, killing in a war can be good or bad.

Now sitting on a jury, that is different. I believe that it is one's responsibility to the state to sit on a jury and to use the conscience God gave you to make the proper judgment. If you follow your conscience, but you end up wrong, there is by your definition, nothing to convict you.

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Will there blood be on the government witch has no real existence as an individual or will you be judged for it?

God established the nations of this Earth and we owe these institutions obedience. Orthodoxy is not a hippie religion.
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« Reply #76 on: November 06, 2007, 12:15:05 AM »

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What kind of excuses work best to become disqualified

Tell them you have any of a plethora of gold rush era diseases, like the typhoid, or the cholera, or dysentary.
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« Reply #77 on: November 06, 2007, 12:34:45 AM »

They are deciding whether or not the people who are making the accusation (i.e. the prosecution/police) are correct or incorrect - with a preference to protecting innocence.

Precisely why the analogy between Jesus and the jury fails. Christ knew the accusations of the prosecution were correct. If His example was that of the jury He wouldn't have looked for loopholes to vindicate her from their accusations. Christ was clearly the skillful advocate; his mission was to save her from the sentence of her accusers by all means possible, in spite of the fact that sentence was warranted. That is not the mission of the jury. There was no jury here, which is why I think this episode in the Gospels is a poor example to try and infer an answer to the question of whether one should serve on the jury or not. It's simply not relevant.
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« Reply #78 on: November 06, 2007, 12:56:19 AM »

I wasn't intending "reasonably certain" to be used as a term of art in my previous post.  For the sake of argument, let's posit a defendant who has two prior convictions with probation in each instance for domestic violence.  He's on trial for a third domestic violence offense.  Both the defense attorney and the prosecutor have a gut feeling that this guy is going to turn around and commit the same offense again somewhere down the line.  Your position seems to be that, as a Christian, it's better to defend the man in the hopes of acquittal and his subsequent repentance than it is to prosecute him with an eye towards keeping his wife from going to the hospital again.  As a Christian, which takes priority?
From my own knowledge of a friend's experience, I would like to offer a pertinent pov I don't think has been addressed yet.  I think the notion some of us have that long-term imprisonment is fundamentally antithetical to the call to repentance is a flawed dichotomy.  I'm thinking of a friend who is currently doing hard time for child molestation.  He recognizes fully the horror of what he did--he turned himself in to the authorities--and understands that prison is the BEST place for him right now in that it protects him from the distractions that drew him away from God and into sin.  As a prisoner, he is now able to focus on his life in Christ in a way that he just couldn't do in the world.  He is in regular contact with Orthodox clergy and well on the road to becoming an Orthodox communicant.  He even has dreams of living a monastic life while in prison--what else can he do there?  I know that my friend is truly exceptional among convicted felons, but just enough to dispel any notion that conviction of and punishment for a crime is ALWAYS a bad thing that Christians should avoid meting out to the truly guilty.  Such punishment may in fact be necessary to facilitate repentance.
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« Reply #79 on: November 06, 2007, 01:01:46 AM »

Anastasios,

Any reference to the final judgment bears no relevance to this discussion, primarily because at that particular point the unrepentent sinner is presumed to have absolutely rejected the Mercy of God i.e. committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Until the final judgment, there is no such general presumption upon the sinner; on the contrary, there is a general presumption as to the viability of the potential for the sinner to receive and positively respond to the mercy of God.

Every Coptic Liturgy, the Congregation respond to the Priest's narration of the future judgment of Christ according to which He "judges" each according to his/her deeds, saying: "According to your mercy O Lord, and not according to our sins." I really don't think that the Congregation here are crying out in vain, yet your conception of Christ would probably deem us so.
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« Reply #80 on: November 06, 2007, 01:20:47 AM »

From my own knowledge of a friend's experience, I would like to offer a pertinent pov I don't think has been addressed yet.  I think the notion some of us have that long-term imprisonment is fundamentally antithetical to the call to repentance is a flawed dichotomy.  I'm thinking of a friend who is currently doing hard time for child molestation.  He recognizes fully the horror of what he did--he turned himself in to the authorities--and understands that prison is the BEST place for him right now in that it protects him from the distractions that drew him away from God and into sin.  As a prisoner, he is now able to focus on his life in Christ in a way that he just couldn't do in the world.  He is in regular contact with Orthodox clergy and well on the road to becoming an Orthodox communicant.  He even has dreams of living a monastic life while in prison--what else can he do there?  I know that my friend is truly exceptional among convicted felons, but just enough to dispel any notion that conviction of and punishment for a crime is ALWAYS a bad thing that Christians should avoid meting out to the truly guilty.  Such punishment may in fact be necessary to facilitate repentance.

For the record, in case any have misinterpreted my position by unwittingly taking it to its logical conclusion, I would like to assert that I would have no problem actually prosecuting an accused, and I think I implied also that it may be the case that punishment is in a guilty person's best interest. In the end, however, I am not God; I cannot know the heart of the accused, nor the precise likelihood of his future conduct. All I can do is do my job as best I can, knowing that, whether I am called to be defence counsel or prosecution, I can, in both instances, pursue Christian ideals. I would not feel guilty if after doing my best to defend a guilty accused, that accused continued pursuing harmful criminal activity. I would only feel guilty if in the course of so defending him/her, I was so focused on being a good advocate that I failed also to be a good minister. In the end my job is not to secure the accused's ultimate course of action--that is ultimately up to the accused's exercise of his/her free will, and the Grace of God. My job is merely to grant an opportunity favourable to the course of action which promotes his/her salvation--whether that opportunity is accepted or dismissed, is again, not my responsibility.
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« Reply #81 on: November 06, 2007, 01:26:40 AM »



Even if what you say is true, the people in hell are not going to feel any better and God still will sustain them for eternity knowing they are suffering.

I'm not so sure it's a modern as you suggest. Grudging existence to none therefore, On the Incarnation
 Athanasius, Saint  


Quote
At any rate, you never answered my point; we can be judged for inaction. If God calls us to further righteousness by imprisoning a child molester and you refuse to sit on the jury because you are afraid of making the wrong choice, I don't see how you are exercising your God-given conscience nor are you doing his will. And I think you will be judged for inaction.

I disagree with you. Sometimes inaction is a virtue. An example would be when Christ allowed himself to be killed in order to save us. His inaction saved us.
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« Reply #82 on: November 06, 2007, 01:32:39 AM »

So you guy's aren't talking about the greatest Pauly Shore movie of all time?
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« Reply #83 on: November 06, 2007, 02:08:54 AM »

I'm not so sure it's a modern as you suggest. Grudging existence to none therefore, On the Incarnation
 Athanasius, Saint
Another passage taken out of context, thus fulfilling Anastasios's criticism?  Why don't you give us the full context for this prooftext taken from St. Athanasius's writing?

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I disagree with you. Sometimes inaction is a virtue. An example would be when Christ allowed himself to be killed in order to save us. His inaction saved us.
Are you sure, though, that you can call active submission to God's will inaction?  God condescended to our humble state and made Himself incarnate precisely in order to give Himself as the sacrifice for sin.  How is this inaction?
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« Reply #84 on: November 06, 2007, 02:22:40 AM »

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God established the nations of this Earth and we owe these institutions obedience. Orthodoxy is not a hippie religion.

I think that's really a separate issue.  The question still comes down to the justice of the act itself.  Otherwise, it is impossible to explain why Christians did not owe obedience to pagan Rome or the USSR.  If a person is morally conflicted about something a government official tells him to do, telling him to "obey the authorities" just assumes that the act is just to begin with.

I do think, however, that the freedom of conscience afforded to an American jury helps to address some of the moral concerns (even though it increases the burden on the individual juror).
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« Reply #85 on: November 06, 2007, 08:33:45 AM »

Precisely why the analogy between Jesus and the jury fails. Christ knew the accusations of the prosecution were correct. If His example was that of the jury He wouldn't have looked for loopholes to vindicate her from their accusations. Christ was clearly the skillful advocate; his mission was to save her from the sentence of her accusers by all means possible, in spite of the fact that sentence was warranted. That is not the mission of the jury. There was no jury here, which is why I think this episode in the Gospels is a poor example to try and infer an answer to the question of whether one should serve on the jury or not. It's simply not relevant.

Good point.  Well, at least in our system, the Jury also (after the guilt/innocence phase of the trial) also decides on the punishment; this was the model that I was working with when making my assertion - that Jesus the sentencing Jury knew the verdict (that she was guilty and proven to be so), and was left with a decision between multiple options as to her punishment. 

But calling Him the advocate is better even in this instance, since His role was actually to convince the mob to not punish her - He didn't make a decision, but rather caused the others to change their decision.
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« Reply #86 on: November 06, 2007, 09:46:39 AM »

Another passage taken out of context, thus fulfilling Anastasios's criticism?  Why don't you give us the full context for this prooftext taken from St. Athanasius's writing?

That is the full context of it. Unless you would like to change the meaning of his words. In that case you would have to explain to me what he meant.


Quote
Are you sure, though, that you can call active submission to God's will inaction?  God condescended to our humble state and made Himself incarnate precisely in order to give Himself as the sacrifice for sin.  How is this inaction?

 I think we are veering off a bit. But just for the sake of this discussion I will ansewer you.
Well. He was God and choose not to distroy his accusers. Along those lines there were countless martars in the faith that once they were stricken on the cheek, offered the other cheek as well. That my friend is inaction.

 
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« Reply #87 on: November 06, 2007, 09:54:53 AM »

Good point.  Well, at least in our system, the Jury also (after the guilt/innocence phase of the trial) also decides on the punishment; this was the model that I was working with when making my assertion - that Jesus the sentencing Jury knew the verdict (that she was guilty and proven to be so), and was left with a decision between multiple options as to her punishment. 

But calling Him the advocate is better even in this instance, since His role was actually to convince the mob to not punish her - He didn't make a decision, but rather caused the others to change their decision.

So than you agree that the prostitute is the one judging herself?
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« Reply #88 on: November 06, 2007, 11:21:25 AM »

Anastasios,

Any reference to the final judgment bears no relevance to this discussion, primarily because at that particular point the unrepentent sinner is presumed to have absolutely rejected the Mercy of God i.e. committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Until the final judgment, there is no such general presumption upon the sinner; on the contrary, there is a general presumption as to the viability of the potential for the sinner to receive and positively respond to the mercy of God.

Every Coptic Liturgy, the Congregation respond to the Priest's narration of the future judgment of Christ according to which He "judges" each according to his/her deeds, saying: "According to your mercy O Lord, and not according to our sins." I really don't think that the Congregation here are crying out in vain, yet your conception of Christ would probably deem us so.

A jury can show mercy, especially in the sentencing phase.
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Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
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'I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."' - Psalm 91:2
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« Reply #89 on: November 06, 2007, 11:55:56 AM »

A jury can show mercy, especially in the sentencing phase.

My response was directed to the question of how to generally understand Christ's response to the guilty, and how that understanding should thence generally govern our own approach to the guilty. The sentiment I was receiving from your posts was: Christ punishes the guilty, therefore we should be more than inclined to do likewise. My concern was with this general sentiment undergirding your approach to dealing with the question of whether one should serve on the jury rather than with that question itself.
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No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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