Category: jury

  • God Bless Judge David Hittner (Updated)

    If you know me well, you might think that I would find no pleasure in a law-and-order federal judge smiting a college student for contempt, bringing her court in short-shorts and chains (Mary Flood, Houston Chronicle). You might think that any pleasure I took from such an event would be alloyed with guilt. You would […]

  • To My Republican Friends

    Are you collectively really so brainwashed that you think it’s okay to advocate “empowering” judges by taking sentencing power away from juries in felony cases belongs in the same document (the Texas GOP 2008 Platform . . . the image ought to be a live link) as “Preserving American Freedom” and “Limiting the Expanse of […]

  • Too Broken?

    New York criminal-defense lawyer Scott Greenfield asks of the criminal justice system, “is it too broken?“ These are a few of the questions he asks: Are jurors capable of discerning truth from deception, or is this just a vanity of our support for trial by jury? . . . . Is there a fundamental flaw […]

  • No Such Thing as a Professional Juror

    Lawprof Thaddeus Hoffmeister (Juries) is interested in what others think about the idea (which he thinks would be unconstitutional) of using “professional jurors” to decide cases when lay juries are unable, after several attempts, to reach a unanimous conclusion. This proposal is the perpetual darling of well-meaning amateurs who think they can do better than […]

  • The Loss of Meaning

    Scott Greenfield has apparently been having a blawgospheric discussion with Doug Berman about the merits of a Kentucky bill, HB210, that, in Doug’s words, “imagines forfeiture as a possible alternative (rather than an addition) to lengthening prison terms for certain offenders.” After some back-and-forth in comments to Scott’s thorough critique of the idea of asset […]

  • Picked a Jury Today

    DWI — total refusal with no accident, but driving facts include alleged flight from the police (a felony, with which he would undoubtedly have been charged if the cop were not making it up). Unusual jury demographics for Harris County: A 29-year-old hispanic male waste company driver; A 50-year-old black female loan closing manager; A […]

  • Where are the Texas Experts?

    This comment on Scott Greenfield’s blog by one of the authors of the recent Dallas Morning News article on probation for murder in Texas got me thinking a bit. “A closer read of our series,” he wrote, “shows that prosecutors still can offer probation through plea bargains with defendants.” Here is the article about which […]

  • Jury is Still Out

    They came back at 8:30 this morning. At about 2:30 they sent out a note indicating that they were having difficulty agreeing and expected to be unable to agree. They indicated that there were eight people in favor of conviction, one strongly in favor of acquittal, one favoring acquittal but open to further discussion, and […]