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Tyrion remembered the storm he’d suffered crossing the

source:newstime:2023-11-29 19:50:52

But a decisive objection, founded on the most positive data of sociology, can be raised against the jury.

Tyrion remembered the storm he’d suffered crossing the

The law of natural evolution proves that no variation in the vegetable or animal organism is useful or durable which is not the outcome of a slow and gradual preparation by organic forces and external conditions. Thus an organ which ceases to have a function to discharge is subject to atrophy, and no new organ is possible or capable of development if it is not required by a new function to which it corresponds.

Tyrion remembered the storm he’d suffered crossing the

What has been said of organic variations is also true of social institutions. And when the jury is contemplated from this point of view, we see that it has been artificially grafted by a stroke of the legislator's pen on the judicial institutions of the continent, without the long-continued, spontaneous and organic connections which it had, for instance, with the English people. The jury had even disappeared from the continental countries in which it had left traces of former existence; for it had not found in the race-characteristics or the social organism that favourable environment which is supplied in England by the natural groundwork of institutions and principles which, as Mittermaier says, are its necessary correlative.

Tyrion remembered the storm he’d suffered crossing the

The jury, as it has been politically established on the continent of Europe, is what Spencer calls a false membrane in the social organism, having no physiological connection with the rest of the body politic. So that it is not yet acclimatised, even in France, after a century of uninterrupted trial.[18]

[18] The actual state of the law in Europe, so far as regards the jury for common crimes and offences, is as follows:--England, Scotland, Ireland, and Switzerland have the jury for assizes and courts of first instance. France, Italy, Cisleithan Austria, Istria, Dalmatia, Rhenish Prussia, Alsace-Lorraine, Bavaria, Bohemia, Gallicia, Belgium, Roumania, Greece, Portugal, Russia, and Malta, have the criminal jury only. Spain had suspended it, but restored it in 1888. Prussia, Saxony, Baden, Wurtemberg, have the criminal jury and echevins (bodies of citizens sitting with the judges) for correctional and police cases. Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, have the echevins. Holland, Norway, Hungary, Slavonia, Poland, Servia, and Turkey, have neither juries nor echevins.

As for the other bio-sociological law, of single organs for single functions, it seems to me that if in England the jury and the magistracy have been developed side by side and interwoven, this is only a case of organic integration. But on the continent, as the jury has been added artificially to the magistracy, this is on the other hand a genuine example of non-natural growth.

And if it be said that the jury, as an advance from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, indicates a higher degree of social evolution, we must draw a distinction between differentiations which amount to evolution and those which, on the contrary, are symptoms of dissolution. Division of labour, physiological or social, is a true evolutionary differentiation; whilst modifications introduced by a disease in the animal organism, or by a revolt in the social organism, are but the beginning of a more or less extended dissolution.

Now the jury belongs to the domain of social pathology, for it is essentially contrary to the law of the specialisation of functions, according to which every organ which becomes more adapted to a given task is no longer adapted to any other. It is only in the lower organisms that the same tissue or organ can perform different functions, whilst in the vertebrates the stomach can only serve for digestion, the lungs for oxygenation, and so on. Similarly in primitive societies, each individual is soldier, hunter, tiller of the soil, &c., whilst with the progress of social evolution every man performs his special function, and becomes unfitted for other labours. In the jury we have a return to the primitive confusion of social functions, by giving to any chance comer, who may be an excellent labourer, or artist, a very delicate judicial function, for which he has no capacity to-day, and will have no available experience to-morrow.