Readers React

Pro and con on peremptory challenges to jurors

To the editor: As a retired attorney and now periodic victim of jury duty, I agree that peremptory challenges should be eliminated. Lawyers who gamble on getting a better outcome for their client by demanding a jury trial should be compelled to take the first 12 draftees who don't have a direct, personal interest in the case. ("The problems with peremptory challenges to jurors," editorial, June 21)

Originally in our system jurors were usually neighbors and townsfolk who knew all about the case. It's ridiculous to think that we get better results by impaneling jurors who know nothing about a case, and forcing them to listen to lawyers who will do and say whatever is necessary to win their case.

Arthur Armstrong, Manhattan Beach

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To the editor: The Times' editorial completely misses the point in advocating for a reduction in the number of peremptory challenges.

It would be one thing for you to advocate the elimination of peremptory challenges altogether, as some members of the Supreme Court have done, but a reduction in the number of challenges would inevitably result in juries less diverse in culture, race and perspective, which is what we do not want.

Jennifer Friendman, Los Angeles

The writer is a deputy Los Angeles County public defender.

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