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Sitting on the Bench

Auteur: Jon Kabat-Zinn

Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 10/2019

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I don’t know many professions where the operative verb in the job description is “to sit,” but one of them is judges. Judges “sit” on the bench, and in sitting up there, for it is an elevated seat in most courtrooms, they bear witness to a steady parading of the worst things human beings do to one another and to themselves. And they are supposed to bear witness dispassionately, wisely, while overseeing and regulating and ruling on the unfolding of all the evidence and narratives marshaled for and against the particular charges levied against the defendant or defendants. The judge creates and maintains the container that ideally allows the jury, if it is a jury trial, to drink in the relevant facts and arguments in a measured, discerning way. Only then is the jury to come to a decision through considered deliberation as peers of the defendant or defendants (in criminal cases) or as peers of the plaintiff and defendant (in civil cases), in other words, as the regular folks that they are, hauled in at random for jury duty, and carrying within them in these unusual (for them) life circumstances, the repository of whatever wisdom and fairness is immanent in our hearts and therefore in our legal system—as participants in the right it accords to all citizens, the right to a trial before an impartial jury of peers. …
Sitting on the Bench
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Mindfulness / Uitgave 10/2019
Print ISSN: 1868-8527
Elektronisch ISSN: 1868-8535

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