Juror Much Too Quick To Convict


I feel compelled to comment on Jerry Thebado's article in last week's issue concerning jury duty; specifically the following statement:

"The weapons charge was a little trickier, but in the end we just didn't feel the defense proved its case. We deliberated for roughly 30 minutes, and returned with a guilty verdict."

It is beyond comprehension that a so-called crime reporter can make such a blatant statement.

It's axiomatic that any high school student is cognizant of the fact that in America a defendant in a court case is considered innocent until proven guilty; that a defendant is not required to "prove innocence; that the onus of proving guilt rests with the prosecution; that said proof must be beyond any reasonable doubt; and that no defendant is required to testify in his or her behalf and that such refusal cannot be held against a defendant.

The gist of these principles of law is explained in detail to all prospective jurors by Judge Dawson prior to each and every trial.

Notwithstanding the above, it is Mr. Thebado's opinion that the guilty verdict was predicted upon "we just didn't feel the defense proved its case."

It is ignorance of the basics of law that generate misconceptions in the eyes of the public when espoused by unknowlegable reporters. One can only hope that this view was not shared by Mr. Thebado's fellow jurors in this particular case, but how are we to know that?

In any event, it is misleading and erroneous reporting like this that can create a new oxymoron -- namely "American justice."

Elmer Kreutzer

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