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only testimonies concerning the case - the free choice of religion

Reader comment on item: Excluding Jews and Others from Law Courts

Submitted by myth (Germany), Mar 13, 2013 at 05:51

The judge is obliged to consider only testimonies concerning the case. What if he selects the jury by religion?

First he would consider the testimony of people that are in no way connected to the case at hand. The testimony would be the answer to the question: are you a Jew?

Second: if the judge was to reject potential jury members, he would allow his verdict to depend on the testimony of people who would stay out of the trial (the rejected).

Why does the judge need to rely on the testimony of the potential jury members? Following the amendment to the Constitution there are no legal criteria to identify anyone as a Jew, or any other religious believer. Nazi Germany defined Jews in the Nüremberg race laws. I hope, the US legal system will ignore such points of reference.

One step further, there is no legal basis for any legal action to differentiate between religions.

The standpoint of the Constitution is roughly this. Religion is a free choice. If one was to select a jury by religion, the verdict would depend on the personal choices of the jury, not about the case at hand, but a choice about themselves.

A potential jury member who considers himself Jewish then would face a choice. Shall he give up his religion in order to serve on the jury? Shall he change his last name in order to serve on the jury? The proposed selection would restrict the juror's personal free choice of religion.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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