Why Even Have Juries?

Via Instapundit, I'm reading this argument against jury nullification, arguing that they should be fact finders and nothing more.

My question is this: If that's true, why even have citizen juries at all? Surely you could take people well trained in the law and have more accurate fact finders. And it can't be that anti-nullification, pro-jury people think the "facts" themselves would be different if found by different types of juries.

So can anyone think of any purpose for juries beyond their role as a check on government authority? I'm trying, and I honestly can't.

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Perhaps jurors are more

Perhaps jurors are more neutral than the alternative--your "people well trained in the law."

Perhaps

Yeah that could be. I still think the advantage in minimizing Type I and Type II errors would go to professional juries.

I should be clearer here: I in no way advocate professional juries for criminal trials, though I could see some advanatges in torts.

Fact finders

I've never understood the fact-finders argument. Even with all the facts, there has to be some theory of what events took place. Drop of blood here, knife there, footprints here, potential alibi there; with those facts, there still has to be some sort of theory as to whether or not the butler did it.

Also, I'm not sure if I understand the jury nullification debate on a 'meta' level. Is there any way to stop it? In that thread at Patterico's, there are various hypotheticals thrown around about whether you'd 'support' jury nullification in scenario X or scenario Y. What's the point? Won't a determined juror be able to nullify if he chooses too?

Facts versus law

As I understand it, in this context the term "facts" encompasses the theory of whether or not the butler did it. In contrast, in context, it is not a "fact" that what the butler did (or, possibly, did not do) constitutes or does not constitute a wrongful act that deserves punishment. The contrast might be labelled "facts versus law".

What's the point? Won't a determined juror be able to nullify if he chooses too?

I think the point is to convince potential jurors to do it. Convincing many people that it's legitimate can reasonably be expected to increase the frequency of actual jury nullification. On the other side, the point is to convince potential jurors not to do it.

Perjury

Also, I'm not sure if I understand the jury nullification debate on a 'meta' level. Is there any way to stop it?

My understanding is that you can be asked during voir dire about whether or not you believe juries can nullify (it's probably expressed as "would you always vote to follow the law" or some such), and you could (theoretically) be prosecuted for perjury should you lie.

I don't know if that's right or not (and it seems like it'd be an almost-impossible prosecution to win), but that's what I recall having read.