For the past two weeks I have sat as an alternate juror at the trial of Aaron Powell for the murder of his wife and a friend of hers. As an alternate I did not participate in deliberations or vote on the verdict. I was, frankly, surprised that the jury returned a guilty verdict as quickly as they did because I am not convinced that the prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Perhaps had I been a member of the jury I might have been persuaded otherwise or I would have convinced the other jurors of my concerns, or maybe we would still be in deliberations. For a number of reasons, this was a very high profile case on which the media reported at length. While serving on the jury I was prohibited from reading that coverage. I am now catching up on that coverage and comparing it with what I heard in the courtroom every day. It should come as no surprise that the two often diverge, especially with regard to emphasis. Once I have have had to time organize my thoughts I will post my observations on this blog. I want to make clear ahead of time that these are my own opinions and, although they are based on what I heard from the attorneys and the witnesses, are not intended to impugn the integrity or thoughtfulness of the jury. Rather, they reflect what I think to be a certain laxity in the criminal justice system. Whether or not my views have merit will become clearer when the case is heard on appeal.


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