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Jury System

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 1990
In an era when our system of justice, and those who serve it, are constantly maligned, your editorial tribute to the American jury system ("Anchorage Jury Metes Out Justice," March 26), was timely, uplifting and highly appreciated. As never before, our traditional jury system is in jeopardy at the hands of those who would exalt expediency over justice and speedy process over sound deliberation. In lending your supportive voice, you eloquently remind us all that this time-tested system works, and ought not to be tampered with.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Ruben Vives, Victoria Kim, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
A Los Angeles jury on Wednesday found that concert promoter AEG Live was not liable for the death of Michael Jackson, capping a marathon civil trial that laid bare the troubled singer's health problems, struggles with drugs and fateful attempt at a comeback tour. The verdict came four years after Jackson received a fatal dose of an anesthetic from his doctor as he was about to launch a concert series produced by AEG aimed at reviving his stalled career. Jackson's family filed the lawsuit, claiming that AEG's was to blame for the King of Pop's death because it was negligent in the hiring and supervising of the doctor, Conrad Murray.
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NEWS
July 2, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
Well, that was a pretty pointless expenditure of tax money. Even some potential jurors said so. The 12 people who did wind up on a San Diego jury deliberated for five hours before they acquitted a man who chalked anti-bank messages on sidewalks in front of the banks. I hope deliberations lasted all of five hours because they were getting a free lunch. Jeff Olson was on trial on 13 misdemeanor counts of vandalism, which could have brought, at the absurd and unlikely extreme, 13 separate one-year jail sentences for the 13 occasions Olson chalked the sidewalk with messages such as “No Thanks, Big Banks” and “Shame on Bank of America.” Once or twice, he drew a tentacle octopus grabbing dollar bills.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2013
Re "Trial showcases military jury system," Aug. 11 Readers may be left with the impression that trying Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan by a court-martial board of senior officers is somehow unfair. By signing up and obtaining a rank of captain because of his psychiatry degree, Hasan chose to be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Jury members must be senior in rank to the accused so no one can claim that the accused compelled the jury to acquit him. They are educated, engaged and focused on the case and are on full pay for the duration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 1986
In a letter to The Times entitled "Jury Duty's Waste" (March 30), James Harris of Tustin airs his dissatisfaction with the jury process. In his cynical comment, Harris suggests that attorneys use their peremptory challenges as a way of extending trial time by "days, weeks or months" in order to further their "money-making schemes." While the author of that letter may have been called for jury duty, it is evident that he has never been summoned as a defendant in a lawsuit tried by a jury.
OPINION
June 29, 2006
Re "The Web's yellow DNA," Opinion June 22 Jonah Goldberg argues that the Rodney King video shows that reality isn't captured by objective media, as the jury saw something different than the media-fed rioters. Instead of pinpointing a problem with objective media, Goldberg's example highlights a shortcoming of our justice system: a suspect jury made up of something other than one's peers agreed to ignore the obvious, probably because of their fears and prejudice. It wasn't the first time the jury system produced an unjust and incorrect verdict, and sadly, it won't be the last.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2002 | JOSH FRIEDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the A&E network's "American Justice" puts the jury system on trial. Like jury duty itself, the two-hour program, "We, the Jury" (tonight at 9), can be tedious--but also rewarding for those who pay attention. Host Bill Kurtis looks back at a tumultuous decade in U.S. justice. Controversial outcomes involving O.J.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 1994
I have been following with personal interest the news items in The Times regarding the developments connected to the conviction of Dr. Thomas A. Gionis in the attack on Aissa Wayne and Roger Luby in 1992. As a member of the jury which convicted Dr. Gionis, I was appalled when I read later of the overthrow of that conviction by the 4th District Court of Appeal. According to the latest report in The Times (March 29), that court's summary decision is now being questioned by our state attorney general's staff in an appeal to the California Supreme Court to review that lower court's decision.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2008 | DANA PARSONS
Sonny Morper wasn't the least bit daunted when his Orange County jury mates voted him foreman as they prepared to decide whether a convicted pedophile should be released from a state hospital. A retired middle school principal from Lake Forest, Morper, a firm believer in the system, was pulling his first jury duty.
OPINION
July 4, 2004
Re "Gang-Rape Case Ends in Mistrial," June 29: In commenting on the mistrial and hung jury in the Orange County gang-rape case, Susan Kang Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, states, "I wouldn't put too much stock in what one jury has to say." I can think of nothing more irresponsible and offensive to our justice system than to hear such a remark from a spokeswoman for the district attorney. The jury system is the hallmark of our justice system, and every jury's decision or nondecision is to be respected, regardless of the outcome.
NATIONAL
August 11, 2013 | Molly Hennessy-Fiske
The jury that will decide the fate of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of gunning down fellow soldiers at this central Texas military base, is an elite group of Army officers operating under a military legal system that must strike a delicate balance. Military law and courtroom rules strive to promote fairness to the defendant and free inquiry among jurors of varying ranks, despite constant reminders of the importance of rank, right down to the jurors' seating arrangements. Military law also guarantees that there will not be a hung jury.
NATIONAL
August 6, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
FT. HOOD, Texas -- The military jury that will decide the fate of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of gunning down fellow soldiers in a bloody rampage at this military base, is an elite group -- all officers of his rank or higher. Drawn from throughout the Army, the jury includes nine colonels, three lieutenant colonels and one major flown in from bases across the country. They will operate under rules that prevent hung juries and that encourage officers of differing ranks to speak freely and as equals once deliberations begin.  The jurors have worked as engineers and logistics specialists and in military intelligence, aviation, chemicals, ordnance, air defense artillery and the signal corps.
NEWS
July 2, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
Well, that was a pretty pointless expenditure of tax money. Even some potential jurors said so. The 12 people who did wind up on a San Diego jury deliberated for five hours before they acquitted a man who chalked anti-bank messages on sidewalks in front of the banks. I hope deliberations lasted all of five hours because they were getting a free lunch. Jeff Olson was on trial on 13 misdemeanor counts of vandalism, which could have brought, at the absurd and unlikely extreme, 13 separate one-year jail sentences for the 13 occasions Olson chalked the sidewalk with messages such as “No Thanks, Big Banks” and “Shame on Bank of America.” Once or twice, he drew a tentacle octopus grabbing dollar bills.
OPINION
May 3, 2013
Re "The power of jury duty," Editorial, April 30 Many Americans try to avoid jury service not because they don't respect the purpose but because of the inefficient way in which jury duty is handled. The jury system does not show respect for its potential jurors, so it does not get respect back. I was in a jury pool downtown a few years back. Dozens of us were brought before a judge who lectured us before jury selection. He talked to us as if we were children and scolded us to not show up late.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2013 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Are you planning to watch HBO's "Phil Spector"? Then step into my cubicle. We need to talk. I'm just a reporter, so my opinions about film aesthetics don't add up to much, but as one of the only journalists to cover both of Spector's murder trials, I can tell you that this movie, which premieres Sunday, is a bomb factually. And in an era when millions depend on "The Daily Show" for their news and best picture nominees for their history lessons, that scares me. Most viewers will know very little about the Spector case, and when the program is over, their understanding will be deeply flawed.
OPINION
July 15, 2011
405 free-for-all Re "Locals' ire doomed a simpler 405 plan," July 10 Once again, the wishes of a few special interests trump the needs of the many. The knee-jerk rejection of the alternative Mulholland bridge plan for the spurious reason of hurting the "unique and distinctly rustic character" of the neighborhood is both elitist and wrongheaded. That area of Mulholland Drive hasn't been rustic for 50 years and has neither character nor specialness; it's just a bunch of multimillion-dollar houses in the hills.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 1994 | MAIA DAVIS
To Carol Goehausen, the responsibility of serving on a jury is a bit frightening. "It's a little scary," said the 39-year-old Ojai resident, "because you're playing God." Despite her nervousness, Goehausen--who served last week on a Ventura County Superior Court jury hearing a civil lawsuit--said she agreed with speakers who lauded the nation's jury system at a ceremony Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2010 | By Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times
An Orange County judge denied a motion Friday to move the trial of a driver accused of killing Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two of his friends, rejecting the argument that the defendant can't get a fair trial in the county where Adenhart played baseball. "I'm confident a fair jury can be selected to hear this matter," Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey said. An attorney for Andrew Thomas Gallo had requested that the trial be moved outside Orange County given the publicity surrounding the ballplayer's death.
WORLD
June 27, 2009 | Yuriko Nagano
Jinko Takahashi stares with trepidation at the six oversized, black-cushioned chairs in a Yokohama District Court room. The 49-year-old has just finished a four-hour program designed to prepare citizens for Japan's new jury system. Like many potential jurors across the world, Takahashi is not particularly enthused about her potential fate. "To be completely honest, I don't want to be on a jury," Takahashi said, sighing.
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