The Corner

Injustice Continued

From a reader:

Jonah,

That NY Times piece really is a great read. As a prosecutor in Michigan who has served the people of Wayne County (the Detroit area) for about 8 years now, I can’t tell you how many courtroom hours I’ve spent explaining away the fallacies of TV legal and police dramas during jury selection. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.

Without getting into all of the tedious nitty-gritty of my cases, my favorite exchange with a juror after a not guilty verdict (which are few and far between for me!) goes something like this:

JUROR: Sorry about not convicting the defendant.

ME: That’s OK. So long as you voted with your conscience. That’s what matters. If you don’t’ mind me asking, what points do you think I missed in the case?

JUROR: Well, I believe he did it. I just don’t think that there was enough evidence to prove it.

ME: Really? Did it ever occur to you that the reason why you think he did it is because of the evidence I presented during the trial?

JUROR: (Speechless)

To me, the real injustice in American criminal jurisprudence lies in the number of criminals who beat cases for all of the obvious reasons: witness bribery and intimidation, perjury, corrupt defense attorneys (and sometimes sad-to-say prosecutors), burned-out judges and prosecutors, and gullible jurors.

Anyway. I’m keeping up the fight at this end. You do the same at your end.

All the Best,

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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