Jury swayed by too many 'coincidences'


I was appalled when the first jury found police not guilty of battery in Rodney King case. How could they justify the malicious beating? How? I was similarly appalled by the recent verdict in O.J. Simpson case. How could they find Simpson not guilty? How could they blind themselves to the facts and let themselves been lulled and deceived by defense attorneys?

Simpson was an abusive husband. However, the jury, mesmerized by emotional appeal, substituted the relevant picture of the "cruel husband" with the irrelevant picture of the "loving father." Simpson was jealous and ambitious to control his ex-wife. However, the jury believed that Simpson lacked motives.

The murderer cut his finger during the slaughter. However, the jury believed that Simpson accidentally cut his finger and was not bothered by the probability of simultaneity of this "accident" and the crime. Simpson, "the traveler," was in town during the murder and left the town just after the crime. However, the jury believed that it was another coincidence. According to a limousine driver who was not claimed to be racist, Simpson's car was not in front of his mansion and he did not respond to the doorbell for half an hour, during the time when the double murder took place. However, the jury believed that it was normal to take a nap after calling for a limousine. Simpson escaped after he became the prime suspect. However, the jury found it a normal reaction of a brave, wealthy, prominent and innocent person. Simpson did not stand for cross-examination. However, the jury believed that it was a normal behavior of an articulate, camera-friendly innocent person. The glove found or planted by the racist police officer was identical to the ones found on Simpson's hand in his pictures. However, the jury thought that it was just a coincidence. The glove did not fit Simpson's hand, either in the court or in the picture, and the jury did not believe this to be another coincidence. Recalling Cinderella and her cruel stepmother, they reasoned that if the glove did not fit they should acquit.

There are hundreds of "howevers" that the scope of this letter cannot hold. Why, despite all the evidences, was a double-murderer acquitted? Was the jury racist? I doubt it. Then why were they fooled by the defense's theory of well-orchestrated "racist conspiracy" against Simpson? How can twelve "reasonable" people be fooled by a "conspiracy theory?"

You can call me elitist, arrogant, or anything you want, but I believe that hoping to find justice by this kind of jury system is like hoping to find the number 114 by adding five odd natural numbers.

Who says the randomly selected jury must represent the so-called reasonable person? This jury is selected from a pool of population that demonstrates real problems in logic and reasoning. Millions of people believe in the stories of abduction by UFO astronauts. Millions have faith in astrology, the power of stars (that is burning gas) on human's fate. Millions read The National Enquirer and similar tabloids. Millions follow charlatan evangelists and donate millions of dollars. Millions call psychics for help. Millions are persuaded by TV commercials. Millions prefer soap operas and tabloid talk shows to news programs. Millions take Rush Limbaugh seriously and call themselves "dittohead." Millions are addicted to fiction books (fabricated stories). Millions of this population watch moronic Hollywood movies and sob or jump while watching them. Obviously, these people will most likely buy conspiracy theories, irrelevant claims and fallacious arguments. And finally, millions pay lawyers to twist the facts and hide the truth.

Why aren't candidates for jury subjected to a moderate level of informal logic and critical reasoning test? It will eliminate many people, but surely will select the "reasonable person." (Though not necessarily the "moral person.") I believe the collective judgment of 12 reasonable people will diminish the reasonableness of our cynical feelings regarding their morality.

If we want to serve justice by the jury system, then we should put a better standard for its members. Otherwise, we should abandon it. Instead of current jury trials, I suggest tossing a coin. If it is heads, guilty tails, not guilty. It will be as fair and just as the jury trial and will cost only a penny and two seconds.

Edip Yuksel

Law Student

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