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flo's avatar

How would good journalists, law students, among others, assess the following article?

Asked by flo (7554 points ) August 26th, 2011

this article?
And how would a law student asses it?

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10 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

Are you asking for opinions about the journalism, or opinions about the case? Why are you curious?

marinelife's avatar

What is your question about it? The article describes the process the judge went through, Canadian law on the subject, how the dismissing of the juror came about, and then something about the trial itself.

It seems fine to me.

flo's avatar

@dappled_leaves either one or both, or any additional thing. And I’m trying to see what people think, without asking a leading question.
@marinelife I’m asking about anything that stands out about it.

Jeruba's avatar

It recounts an event in the progress of the case, namely the dismissal of a juror for not being impartial (saying he was “partial” sounds a little peculiar to me, as if he were only half there), recaps the main features of the case, and concludes with a note on what is to happen next.

Nothing about it seems striking to me. Without an angle of focus or a question, the only “assessment” I have is that it seems to cover the salient points briefly and reasonably objectively. I don’t really think anything about it. It’s not the first I’ve heard of the case, so I’m not reacting with horror to the news of the murders.

As far as I know, a news story doesn’t have to stand up to legal scrutiny unless there’s an issue of libel.

flo's avatar

@Jeruba I’m searching for another article that I read that makes more sense to me

flo's avatar

Anyway in the meantime, isn’t it supposed to be a mistrial or hung jury or whatever, when even one of them couldn’t be convinced?

flo's avatar

@Jeruba I just realized this was in the middle of the trial, so it can’t be hung jury. But still the article makes it sound like the rest of the jurors kicked him out becuase he is not going along with them.

marinelife's avatar

@flo They were not yet deliberating. In Canada, (as it says in the article) the trial can continue with as few as 10 jurors.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh. I didn’t think that. I thought (maybe because this was so like my own experience, described in that other thread) that the other jurors realized he’d already made up his mind and was not considering the evidence. A jury is obliged to decide on the evidence as presented in court and on the judge’s instruction in the applicable law. If a juror says, for example, “This testimony is all lies. The guy is Mexican/Black/French/Asian/whatever and so they just want to convict him because they’re racist. So I say he’s innocent.” that would not be an impartial hearing of the evidence.

In this instance, the juror who was thought to be partial to one side or the other probably wasn’t expressing a view on racism. But suppose he said something like “Any guy who’d kill his kids ought to be shot, I don’t care what excuse he gives,” he’s not hearing the evidence impartially. Same if he says, “I know how he felt. When my wife cheated on me, I went berserk. I think he deserves a break.” It sounds as if the judge investigated their claim and found it had merit. Otherwise he would have been reseated on the jury.

flo's avatar

The other afrrticle said that the juror told them that he has already made up his mind.
Don’t they have a standby jurors, because 12 is the optimal number no?

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