Can the Criminal Justice System Be Fixed? The Jury’s Still Out.

Under the law, prosecutors are supposed to pursue justice and not only seek convictions.

by Steven Greenhut

My latest experience with jury duty highlighted some of the well-known flaws in how our system determines an accused person’s guilt or innocence. I was close to being impaneled when the judge asked whether any of us had previously dealt with district attorneys. I’m perfectly willing to serve on a jury, but answered honestly despite knowing the likely result.

As a newspaper writer, your honor, I’ve interviewed prosecutors when covering D.A. scandals and police-misconduct cases, I said. Within moments, the prosecutor announced that Mr. Greenhut was no longer needed. As I walked out, I turned to him and said, “Good call.” People chuckled. I found it less funny that most of the potential jurors that seemed thoughtful and independent-minded also were rejected for one reason or another.

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