Michael Jackson gets off. (Alleged) Gangland (Alleged) thug Mick Gatto gets off. Schapelle Corby gets 20 years. Completely unrelated cases in different jurisdictions, but all three undermine any lingering faith I had in the justice system.
I've long held the view that the jury system is a flawed system and should be abolished, and seeing the juries acquit Jackson and Gatto is a good demonstration of why. To get selected for a jury, you must demonstate that you have no preconcieved notions of the case, little knowledge of the people involved, no strong views, and last had an original thought some time during the Nixon administration. Then, after demonstrating that they are the poster-children of ordinariness, jurors are expected to critically evaluate vast quantities of technical and legal evidence, balance competing claims on the truth, and reach a reasoned and careful judgement. Why do we persist with such an absurd system.
If we trust judges to oversee the trial and apply the rules of law, then surely we should trust them to reach a verdict. By definition, judges are experts in the evaluation of evidence, logical reasoning and legal principles. To set aside this expertise, and instead rely on lay-opinion, is absurd.