Monday, April 16, 2007

Jurors and the Presumption of Innocence and Reasonable Doubt

Where has reflection and thoughtful analysis gone? Certainly, it's not modeled on TV. There's money and ratings in being cock-sure. Consider the popularity of CNN's own prosecutor-in-residence Nancy Grace. Jon Stewart provides some insight on this former prosecutor's ability to look at the evidence rationally:

So, should it be surprising that jurors often don't understand what presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt mean?

Though few jurors have spoken publicly about their decision process in Todd's case, the remarks of one, who chooses to remain anonymous, are enlightening and shocking:

Here's the transcript of the operative soundbite reported by Brian Arnot:

Q: Do you think beyond a reasonable doubt that he did do it?

Juror: I don't know....

Beyond reasonable doubt? Presumption of innocence? Now add to the obvious frustration rule of evidence 606(b): Such statements by jurors are inadmissable in court, and cannot be considered when reviewing a case on appeal.

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