homeaboutarchives + tagsshopmembership!
aboutarchivesshopmembership!
aboutarchivesmembers!

The Breakfast Jury

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 03, 2015

This account of serving on a jury during a murder trial is fascinating, from the racial issues of the jury selection to the social dynamics in the jury room during deliberations.

There’s a handwritten confession that the defendant claims he didn’t write. He says he signed a blank page that appeared later containing a confession. In the months since the arrest, changes have been made to local precincts that now allow them to record all interrogations on video. In this case, no video was taken.

The suggestion of a police conspiracy is laughable to the prosecutor, and, I will learn, to many of my fellow jurors. I suppose this is why every black man was eliminated from the jury pool. If it’s biased to presuppose police officers are corrupt, it should be considered equally biased to presuppose that they always act lawfully. Instead, it’s considered ridiculous. The presumption of innocence is dangerously misplaced.

I keep thinking of Walter Scott, whose uniformed murderer is seen on camera shooting him while he runs away, and who plants a weapon on his freshly killed corpse. While doing all this, the officer reports over police radio that Scott attacked him.

(via @robinsloan)