> I must say the jury system is very strange to an outsider. Lots of blatantly apparent problems: your chances vary wildly depending on whether you are famous, from a racial minority etc. If the idea is to protect against dysfunctional judges, I'm pretty sure there are better ways.
The only major advantage of the Jury system in the USA is that the Jury has the legal ability to nullify laws. If a Jury decides that a law or a ruling is unjust they could declare the defendant not guilty, even if he is clearly guilty of breaking the law.