Alice in Wonderland

What do jurors do at the real trial ?

The question is from the alice in wonderland

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The jurors are foolish creatures. We are first given an example of their lack of intelligence when they are obliged to write their names on their slates, "for fear they should forget them before the end of the trial." Prompted by this, Alice proclaims them to be, "Stupid things!" Ridiculously, the jurors all make a note of their being 'stupid things' and Alice notices that one of them can't even spell 'stupid'.

Another example of the jurors' absurdity comes when Alice feels compelled to steal the squeaky pencil from one of them, who, unable to find his vanished pencil, attempts to make the rest of his notes with the tip of his finger, which of course, leaves no mark on his slate.

When the King asks the Hatter when he started having his tea, the Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse variously reply that it was the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth of March. The jurors write down all three dates, add them together, and then convert the result to the fiscal currency of the time.

Eventually, Alice is called to give her evidence, but she says she knows nothing about the incident. The King proclaims this to be 'important' but the White Rabbit corrects him and says it's 'unimportant': "Some of the jury wrote it down `important,' and some `unimportant.' Alice could see this, as she was near enough to look over their slates; `but it doesn't matter a bit,' she thought to herself."

After the White Rabbit reads out a piece of 'evidence' which is entirely unconnected to the crime, Alice claims that the jury would be incapable of making any sense of it. Carroll points out that they all duly note down what Alice has said, but that none of them makes any attempt to make any sense of the evidence.

The jurors are foolish, ridiculous and have no understanding of judiciary procedure. It is possible that in this scene, Carroll is satirising the entire idea of trial by jury.