Only once have I served on a jury, in a sizeable civil case in San Francisco in the late '80s. It was one of the peak experiences of my life. We were a pretty ordinary lot (the whole idea), but in that jury room we became quite extraordinary. We took our work very seriously. And did our level-headed best to attend to instructions. Some had been more attentive than others, of course, but none was flippant or cursory in his or her deliberations. We found for the defendant, though none of us was thrilled by our decision; we simply did what we felt the evidence and instructions added up to.
I read jurors' comments on the Jackson verdict. None seemed enamored with Jackson in the least. But they treated him as any defendant should be treated, and came to what they collectively thought was the appropriate decision.
I, for one, am a great champion of jury trials and the jury system.
(Of course I was appalled that on his Website, Jackson compared the verdict to Mandela's release from prison. But then no one said that I or the jurors had to admire the defendant.)
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.