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A Trial by Jury

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2002

    Reasonable Doubt

    The premise of the book is intrigueing: take a highly educated young man and stick him in a New York jury on a murder trial and see what happens. What the prosecutor was likely hoping for when he selected the author for the jury was the same thing the reader has the right to expect: a well reason analysis of the facts of the case and the juror's role in the trial of a sordid murder. The prosecutor was likely as disappointed as this reader. The narrative wonders and loses its focus early. The author does draw some interesting analogies and does offer some interesting analysis within the context of his life's work. His discussion of jury nullification was intriguing but frustrating. It was cut short long before it should have been. The climax of the book, when the author and his fellow jurors realize that the law can only be cautious, not perfect is truly captivating but not for the reasons the author intends. In the end the author drafts a note to the judge shrinking from his true responsibilities blaming the system at large for his own inability to make a truly difficult decision. The book reflects the denial the author lives with, and the delusions the jury created to escape their responsiblity-- its form and substance are just as diaphenous.

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