Secondly, the jury, even when composed of persons of average capacity, will never be able in its judicial function to follow the best rules of intellectual evolution.
Human intelligence, in fact, both individual and collective, displays these three phases of progressive development: common sense, reason, and science, which are not essentially different, but which differ greatly in the degree of their complexity. Now it is evident that a gathering of individuals of average capacity, but not technical capacity, will in its decisions only be able to follow the rules of common sense, or at most, by way of exception, the rules of reason--that is, of their common mental habits, more or less directed by a certain natural capacity. But the higher rules of science, which are still indispensable for a judgment so difficult as that which bears on crimes and criminals, will always be unknown to it.
As for the irregularity of the action of a jury, it has been deemed that this can be provided against by the formal distinction between a decision of fact and a decision of law, in obedience to the advice of Montesquieu, that ``to the popular judgment we should submit a single object, a fact, a single fact.''
But without dwelling on the remark of Hye-Glunek, that in this way the legal problem, which ought to be as indivisible as the syllogism which creates it, is cut into two parts, it is evident that Cambaceres was amply justified in saying, in the Council of State, that the separation of fact from law is a fallacy.
In fine, not only under the positive system of criminal procedure, which demands of the judge, in addition to legal conceptions of crime, some anthropological and sociological knowledge of criminals, but even at the present day it is more correct to say that the jury is concerned with the crime--that is, in the words of Binding, with a legal fact, and not merely a material fact; whilst the judge is concerned with the punishment. Thus, in the Assize Court, the separation of the judgments is not between fact and law, but only between the crime and the punishment
Even admitting the possibility of this separation of fact and law, logic and experience have already belied the assertion of those who say with Beccaria that, ``for the appreciation of facts, ordinary intelligence is better than science, common sense better than the highest mental faculties, and ordinary training better than scientific.''
On the contrary, a criminal trial is not only concerned with the direct perception of facts, but also and especially with their critical reconstruction and psychological appreciation. In civil law the fact is really accessory, and both sides may be agreed in its exposition, whilst disputing about the application of the law to this fact. But in criminal justice the fact is the principal element, and it is not merely necessary to admit or to decide upon this or that detail, but we have also to regard its causes and effects, from the individual and the social point of view, without speaking of the common difficulty of a critical and evidential appreciation of a mass of significant circumstances. So that, as Ellero said, in a criminal trial the decision as to fact is far more difficult than that as to law. And by this time daily practice has accumulated so many proofs, more or less scandalous, of the incapacity of the jury even to appreciate facts, that it is useless to dwell upon them.
To conclude this question of the jury, it remains to speak of its defects, which are not the more or less avoidable consequences of a more or less fortunate application of the principle, which might be the case with any social institution, but, on the contrary, are an inevitable consequence of the laws of psychology and sociology.