A note from the author about this blog:
“I created Writing the Wrong for Jahar as a gift to those who care about and support Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This blog is a safe place to find comfort when the awareness of the scale of injustice in this case becomes too much to bear. For that reason, negative and/or dissenting comments and opinions will not be published. I make no apology for that decision. There are plenty forums where lively disagreement is welcomed and encouraged, if that is your thing. This blog is mine and I thank all those who continue to support it.” – Lynn
Today, I read about the upcoming book by Juror 83. I am still shaking my head. The press release says “Through his eyes, we experience the emotional roller coaster of listening to the victims’ testimonies and feel the pain left in the wake of that terrifying attack as he struggles to do the right thing. To bring justice to the friends and families of the victims.”
So let’s stop there a moment. The press release goes on, but I want to address those two statements first.
A juror is a person who decides the facts of a case in a court of law. In a criminal trial, they are charged with the responsibility of deciding whether, on the facts of the case, a person is guilty or not guilty of the offence for which he/she has been charged. The jury must reach its verdict by considering only the evidence introduced in court and the directions of the judge.
Nowhere in that definition do I read that a juror has a responsibility to do the right thing and bring justice to the friends and families of the victims. They simply are there to listen and evaluate and make an unbiased, unemotional decision. This juror obviously was not able, by his own admission in writing this book, to do that. He came in as a crusader, thinking he had a mission, a duty, which, in fact, he did not.
If he had done his job, and only his job, as a juror, the “right thing,” the “bringing justice to the friends and families of the victims” part, would have been a by-product. As it stands now, he has failed miserably and is trying to profit from it as well.
The catch phrases in those two sentences are “emotional roller coaster” and “feel the pain.” Imagine if the press release said “listen to the facts” and/or “evaluate the evidence in the case.” The prosecution actually had no “case,” just a bunch of gory, emotionally wrenching stories from victims who neither saw nor heard Dzhokhar Tsarnaev do anything to cause that pain and suffering. If they had had a case, they would have presented actual witnesses, not victims.
I feel nothing but shame and outrage for a defense team who did not defend, who meekly sat there as victim after victim took the stand, told of their experience of suffering and sat back down when the words “We have no questions, your Honor” gave them permission to do so.
The writer of this book calls this “listening to evidence?” These stories were nothing different than the accounts we had all watched on TV and read about on the internet and in newspapers and magazines for the two years leading up to the trial.
As revealing as those two sentences are about Juror 83 and his lack of understanding of his role and lack of fitness to serve, this next sentence was even more incredible in what it told me:
“FROM THE MOMENT HE SETS FOOT INTO THE COURT ROOM, Juror 83 is burdened by the knowledge that on the last day of deliberations he will have to decide whether or not another human being dies, and that he will have to live with that decision for the rest of his life.”
From the moment he sets foot into the court room?
Even if he listened to all the “evidence” and found Dzhokhar “not guilty?”
Of course not.
Then there would have been no penalty phase. But then again, this juror, like the other eleven, already knew, already decided Dzhokhar was guilty. And now, in the press release for his self-serving book, without meaning to, Juror 83 tells us that.
One who goes open-minded and impartial into a court of law to decide a case is not “burdened by the knowledge that on the last day of deliberations he will have to decide whether or not another human being dies” because he reminds himself that he does not know if the person is guilty or innocent at the start of the trial. And, he further tells himself, if the evidence does not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then, terrible as the crime was, the accused must be found innocent and released.
I will be interested to see if any of the following things happen as a result of this blog post:
1. Will anyone from the defense use this information to file for a mistrial for obvious, and now provable in paperback form, reasons?
2. Will the release date of the book be suddenly pushed back or cancelled altogether?
3. Will the press release be re-worded?
This is the information publicly available about Juror 83:
Does he have a presumption of guilt? Unsure.
In jury questioning, he said “I don’t think this is a case of mistaken identity so obviously he was involved in something.”
What is his position on the death penalty? No opinion, but open.
He is studying psychology with a minor in neuroscience, but said he is taking a semester off school because his financial aid fell through.
After he left jury questioning, defense attorney Judy Clarke was overheard saying “He’s very eager.”
And now, most likely, we know why.