Dhammic principles and the law

Had you been selected to be on the jury on the recent G.Floyd trial, what would have conceivably been some Dhammic principles you can think of to inform your decision to vote guilty nor not guilty

Please note that as per United States court instructions, jurors are to base their decisions solely on the evidence presented in the courtroom and the US constitutional law. Hence this entire discussion is ultra vires.

The Sixth Amendment of our Constitution guarantees a trial by an impartial jury. This means that, as jurors, you must decide this case based solely on the evidence and law presented to you here in this courtroom.


I would look at the intention of the suspect. Was his intention to kill him? If it was, then it’s murder. If it wasn’t, then it’s manslaughter. I think it’s guilty either way since it wasn’t done in self defense, the only question is the severity of the charge (manslaughter vs murder).

What does the vinaya say about unintentional killing? Isn’t there a sutta of a father who forbids his daughter to see the Buddha because he wants her to work instead, then after she trips over a bucket or work tools that he put in front of her bed to remind her, and she dies, and he becomes an Arahant… I read it long ago. In the father’s case his greed is responsible for her death, but it was unintentional.