Truth, Trial by Jury and Double-Jeopardy…

Truth, Trial by Jury and Double-Jeopardy…
What an interesting site; I’m surprised I haven’t been on it before.

In researching the concept of Truth from different angles, I decided tonight to look at Law, from various perspectives.   It’s a topic I only have basic knowledge of (and still do).  Anyway…

Ok, who decides truth?

The Judge, well, that’s about as Universal as universal gets.

Trial by Jury?  Well, many many places have it, or a version of it for Criminal, not always or even usually for Civil law.

(Interestingly, Trial by Jury seems to be lessening in Western Countries but recently being introduced or expanded in Asian countries http://www.economist.com/node/13109647  )

Now on to Double-Jeopardy; not the show.  I found the idea interesting because, in the Scientific Method in truth discovery, you can ask and re-ask the same question many different ways.  Scholarship works in a similar manner, etc.  In each case, you can continue going after the same thing, over and over again, changing parameters slightly, until you get the result you want.

But Double-Jeopardy, which is a part of Common Law (which is 800 years old) and goes ALL THE WAY BACK TO ANCIENT GREECE  (think about that!) – not guilty=not guilty and that’s that.  No taking it back. (in theory)

I was at first surprised at how nearly Universal a version of “not being tried twice for the same crime” and all of the other parts of double jeopardy (I think it’s 3 things total)

…and THEN to find out the amazing amount of exceptions.

The USA has the strongest double-jeopardy law; it’s a completely built-in thing.  Other countries have it, but enforce it to different degrees; places like Scotland and Australia are being accused of nearly having done away with it altogether, with so many exceptions (or with a very weak version of it) that it is more or less “not there really”.

I’m generally for it (and allowing for exceptions in extreme cases perhaps)  What do you think?  I found the pattern of answers that people gave on this site to be quite interesting;

http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-we-do-away-with-the-double-jeopardy-rule

Around 340 BC – that’s 2300 years ago – Demosthenes “Now the laws forbid the same man to be tried twice on the same issue, be it a civil action, a scrutiny, a contested claim, or anything else of the sort.”
 
2300 years… human rights, trials, etc such an amazingly common part of, well, being civilized I suppose. It was already law then… which means it’s probably far older than that.

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