Monday, April 23, 2018

Jurors and Justice

When I was a young lawyer, many years ago, male lawyer told me “women jurors hate women.” I heard that statement dozens of times. I didn’t want to believe it, but I was worried that “old husband’s tale” was true. It’s not. People are individuals, each with his or her own implicit biases. There is nothing to generalize. Each person does his or her best while serving on a jury.

Our last jury was comprised of six women of the seven person jury. Our trial team had three women, while the other side was all men. I believe that the jurors’ gender was irrelevant. The decision had to be unanimous and the jurors talked to us afterward. The man and the women were on the same page. In this age of Trump, jurors are as decent and fair and intelligent as always. They usually get it right, even when they render a verdict I don’t like.

In October, we tried a challenging race discrimination case. The predominantly white jury rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of our African American client, even though only 9 of 12 were needed, in record time.

Most jurors serve this important civic duty with fairness, patience and dignity. Our country may be divided politically, but when it comes to jury service, our citizens respond with courage and intelligence. Our jury system is the best is the best legal system in the world.

1 comment:

  1. The two times I served on juries, I found the same thing. To my surprise, during deliberations, even the people who had been very quiet the whole time had very reasoned opinions.