Kobe Bryant: The Questionnaire

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
They posted the questionnaire given to prospective jury members. I think I tend to be a good person to put on a jury because I'm intelligent and willing to keep an open mind.

For this particular case I don't think I would because I naturally have some biases. I thought I would not be selected based on these questions:

60. Do you follow professional Basektball? If yes, what are your favorite teams?
Yes, The Lakers.

65. What have you read, seen, or heard about this case?
Yes, I follow the story regularly.

71. Have you discussed this case or heard anyone else talk about it?
Yes, all the time on my blog.

72. Based on what you have read, seen, or heard about the case, which of the following reflects your opinion whether Kobe Bryant is guilty or not guilt of the sexual assault charges.
Probably Not Guilty.

The interesting thing is that I thought the last one would be the one most likely to keep anyone off the jury. After all, I would go in thinking Kobe is innocent of the charges which would make me biased. But then someone pointed out to me that my answer to 72 is the only really acceptable answer. I thought the choice of "Not enough information to decide" would be the "best" answer but it actually is not, not at least if you understand the legal system.

Kobe Bryant is innocent until proven guilty. There must be a presumption of innocence. You can not go into the jury with an unbiased mind and say to yourself "I'll go with whoever puts on the best case.". The fact is that the prosecution has to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if they have a better case than the defense, 51% to 49%, you must find in favor of the defendent. There is a bias built in into the legal system and it favors the defense.

I of course thought it was best to have no bias going in, but I guess you learn something new everyday.


Jenny said...

I bet you I would be selected for the jury, since I know practically nothing about basketball, Kobe or the case.