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Sneezy
User Rank
Rookie
Jury system flawed
Sneezy   10/25/2013 1:34:01 PM
Proving bug exists in firmware does not prove that the bug actually caused the crash! The industry has to rally to scrutinize the so called evidence so that it does not open a door for future litigations on every piece of software the lawyers can link with some litigation!

I was summoned for Jury duty recently for a vehicular manslaughter case recently. After the judge finished questioning I was one of the 18 sitting up there and the DA/defense has their turn to each remove two of us for whatever reason. Among the my peers, there is a guy who has two PhDs from Stanford, me having only one PhD from Purdue, and one old Filipino American lady who said she only understand 20-30% of the conversation. Guess what, the first guy get excused is the double PhD, the second one is me with one PhD. Since we have to leave right away, I don't know if the lady who only understand 20-30% English eventually get to vote on the case, but the fact that the most highly educated people got kicked out of the Jury says something about the Jury system. In order to overwhelm the jury with the "expert" evidences, neither the DA nor the defense likes people with too much analytical skills, like engineers. They never want the jury to analyze the expert testimony, they only want you to take their words.

I must I was quite relieved when I was excused because I just started a new job two weeks before that... But the way it happened left a serious doubt in my mind on how the system works.

patrick.mannion
User Rank
Staff
Re: More to come and S/W quote from Junko
patrick.mannion   10/25/2013 1:27:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Rich, that's brialliant! Junko, would you be willing to let your visage be so 'used' for anyone who wants that quote on an EETimes T-shirt? It sums it up so well, it's priceless!

El Bee
User Rank
Freelancer
Re: More to come
El Bee   10/25/2013 1:21:40 PM
Irrespective of any software failure, any modern car, including a Toyota Camry, can be stopped by applying the brakes.  Even if the car is under full throttle.  There have been numersous tests demonstrating this, and you can try it for yourself on a deserted road.  Brakes are more powerful than the engine and will stop the car every time.  Therefore, some blame has to be placed on the driver for the crash.  An award like this sets a dangerous precedent, although I'm sure Toyota will appeal.

Frank Eory
User Rank
CEO
Re: More to come
Frank Eory   10/25/2013 1:16:25 PM
NO RATINGS
It appears that we will all have to wait until after the punitive phase to learn about the evidence that proves software bugs were responsible.

wilber_xbox
User Rank
Manager
Re: More to come
wilber_xbox   10/25/2013 12:20:05 PM
NO RATINGS
I think that this opens a path for more cases to follow. Surely a bad news for Toyota as it might go for out of court settlements for the most cases.

wilber_xbox
User Rank
Manager
Re: More to come
wilber_xbox   10/25/2013 12:18:55 PM
NO RATINGS
I do not fully understand the history of the jury but sometimes the jury decisions can be highly dependent on the lawyers. Though, in this particular case it does not seem to be the case. But still i believe that qualified judges should take the decisions instead of compassionate people.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More to come
junko.yoshida   10/25/2013 11:09:50 AM
NO RATINGS
Caleb, there is proof. Lots of it. We just hadn't been able to talk to experts who testified at the court because they were under a gag order.

You will see more detailed analysis later today.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: More to come
krisi   10/25/2013 10:39:08 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree with @rich.pell...I think people just take advantage of US court system

Harshhi
User Rank
Rookie
Re: More to come
Harshhi   10/25/2013 10:14:01 AM
NO RATINGS
I personally know an Engineer, fresh from college, who was a victim of Camry's unintended acceleration.. (now don't ask me which recent college grad would buy a Camry). He had a tough time explaining this in court.

rich.pell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: More to come
rich.pell   10/25/2013 10:04:24 AM
NO RATINGS
I suspect that ultimately the only thing this verdict will prove is that lawyers can always hire "experts" in a particular field to bamboozle juries.  A jury comprised of dispassionate engineers would probably have arrived at a different decision...

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