Yesterday I finished serving on a jury – my first time. I have been called to serve before but was never selected. This was a criminal case (Conspiracy and Attempted Grand Theft). Based on the evidence, the jury unamiously voted to convict the defendant.
What was most remarkable about the process to me was the value and strength of the system. We’ve all heard “innocent until proven guilty“. In this case the judge was very clear that the defendant wasin fact innocent and that status would only change if we, the jury found there was enough evidence to convict. Also that evidence had to be strong enough to be “beyond a reasonable doubt” – another phrase we’ve all heard. The judge described that as an abiding conviction that the defendant was guilty that would last forever. Finally, the decision on this case was made by a jury. Not the judge, not the attorneys or police – it was 12 people who had absolutely no connection to the case and no personal stake in the outcome.
Since this is a blog about business, here’s the point. I remain grateful that I live in the United States of America. Our system of laws and justice is far from perfect; but the principles our country isbased upon are sound. In many other countries, elected officials or powerful people use the government to steal from you or to enrich themselves at your expense. We have protections in this country. Protections for both you and I. That makes this a pretty good place to do business in.