Video: Juries Should Be Voluntary

 Posted by on 19 May 2011 at 1:00 pm  Law, Objectivism, Politics, Videocast
May 192011

In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I answered the following question about the morality of compulsory juries:

Are compulsory juries moral? Is it necessary and/or proper to compel citizens to serve on a jury? If not, what is the best way to ensure the right to a trial by a jury of your peers, rather than trial by government agents? Should a free society have professional volunteer juries like the military?

The issue was (and is) of particular interest to me because Dr. Peikoff has stated in a past podcast that compulsory jury duty would be entirely proper. I disagree strongly with that position, and I don’t think it’s consistent with Ayn Rand’s views on taxation or the draft, both of which she opposes.

So in my webcast, I argued that compulsory juries are a violation of rights — and hence, neither moral nor practical. You can watch the video of that segment here:

I’ve not yet seen any substantive defense of Dr. Peikoff’s position, but I’d certainly be interested to hear one.

Also, someone asked the natural (and requested) follow-up question on why I think that subpoenas are justified if compulsory juries are not. I’ll likely answer that in the next few weeks, but please vote it up so that I can answer it sooner rather than later!

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