Kottke links to a Gothamist interview of a “Rape Cop” Juror:
Gothamist is trying something new: long-form articles available for a small fee ($2-3) on the Kindle or as a PDF. The first one in the series is a real corker…Confessions of a “Rape Cop” Juror, a piece written by a member of the jury that acquitted two NYPD officers charged with raping a young woman in her East Village apartment.
First : The one thing that bugs me out about the article is that the juror went to meet the defendant after the trial. I don’t think I could or would have done that with the plaintiff or defendant for the criminal or civil trials I was a juror for. I just wanted to be out of the dispute, the civil one not so serious insurance liability case and the criminal one a gravely serious juvenile murder case. Being on a jury makes a dispute, between two parties the most important problem in your life for as along as you sit on that jury. Either way, I wanted out of their dispute once our charge was fulfilled.
Second: Your most important vote is your vote as a juror. In the rape cop trial, the overwhelming majority of the jurors seemed to lean towards not guilty on the most serious charges from he beginning of the deliberations. Often, it may be one or two jurors who sway the group to one verdict or another (or deadlock a jury). When you see a trial on TV or some punitive measure you dislike (whether too harsh or lenient in your opinion) and shake your head at the outcome, just consider that next time you get the jury duty notice for your community.
Three: I think the Gothamist new purchase model for long form articles is a pretty decent idea, not sure if the price is right, but it’s a step in figuring out how good journalism can be paid for and I’m generally for that.