Friday, July 8, 2011

Juries Should Use Common Sense

When a news story is interesting and over-reported, such as the recent Casey Anthony child murder trial, I tend to hold my comments.  That case has taken ages to play out, and the weight given to ego and trivia made it extremely painful to follow. I can feel sympathy for the jury.

Now the trial is over, and Marcia Clark, the chief prosecutor in the OJ Simpson case, has written an extremely persuasive article in The Daily Beast/Newsweek, illuminating how the jury went wrong with its final decision. She explains how a mother who "probably" killed her baby and didn't report it for a month is getting away with it.

The reason seems to be a failure of a jury to think for themselves or to feel for the baby.

Sometimes, "Group Think" as she calls it, works well - to fix cars, computers, machines and complicated problems. The reason: when one person doesn't "get it" or can't fix it, another person might...Everyone brings different strengths to a challenge.

In the case of the prolonged, sequestered jury trial of Casey Anthony, the jurors got too cozy with one another, and with the defendant. They agreed together and thought they didn't NEED to connect the dots. They couldn't convict Casey or so "they thought" and they didn't. An emotional decision, it's sad that rationality and independent thinking hadn't prevailed and weighed the preponderance of evidence.

The facts didn't successfully force common sense on the jurors since they were too close for too long, according to this article.

The court of public opinion sees the failure of the justice system in this case, and when the general public sees something wrong, they're usually right. That little group of jurors failed to do justice. They didn't do their job of connecting "the dots" as they should have, according to Marcia Clark...It looks like someone has got away with murder.

Read my post about the visit to the South Pole by the first successful American explorer in nearly one hundred years to see how sometimes one person, against all odds, can succeed where many groups before him have failed. It's an inspirational story of a real leader.

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