Notes from the Jury Box: The State’s First Witness

Opening Statements: A Real-Life Murder Mystery The State’s chief attorney, an intense young woman with porcelain features, takes the stage, startling us out of our torpor. She paces and gesticulates emphatically, as if to communicate her moral outrage: the defendant, she insists, has shot an unarmed man who begged for his life in his final…

Notes from the Jury Box, Part 1: Jury Selection

Nobody wants to do it. I certainly didn’t, especially after enduring the first few hours of jury selection, a process (called “voir dire“) which is so insistently repetitive, so oppressively tedious as to produce a powerful narcotic effect in us trapped, helpless potential jurors awaiting the resumption of our lives. I actually heard someone say,…