Jurors' Prejudices and Confusion Are a Window on Society

We know a bit about why the Bill Cosby jury deadlocked. Some of it sounds sadly familiar to me.I was a juror in a notorious Dallas County rape trial. I've served in three other cases as well. I'm also a journalist who has covered hundreds of crimes, trials, lawsuits and legal proceedings and has studied the jury system. The Cosby mistrial underscores what I've found: Jurors' prejudices and confusion over facts and arguments can't be fixed in a courtroom. They're windows on society.A Cosby juror, an older man, told philly.com the encounter must have been consensual because, Cosby claimed earlier, accuser Andrea Constand showed her midriff and gave him gifts. The juror also suggested that 60 women, strangers, separately decided to pile onto, of all people, America's Dad. And he said the jury couldn't find legal terms such as "reckless" and "severely impaired" in the evidence, apparently thinking justice requires keywords. His comments, the report said, "seemed to echo the trial defense Cosby's lawyers sought to present."  Continue reading...

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