Tags: Peterson | Jury | Did | Proud

Peterson Jury Did Us Proud

Wednesday, 15 December 2004 12:00 AM

To the liberal intelligentsia the ideal juror would have been a deeply reflective fellow liberal who would agonize over the nuances, waver over which facts to accept and which to ignore, and explain after failing to reach a verdict that "I voted to convict before I voted to acquit."

To make that judgment of guilt or innocence or life or death in the light of the lack of clear physical evidence, when even the method employed in the killing of Laci and Connor Peterson is still unknown, the jurors were confronted with a need for the clearest kind of rational thinking.

Ordinary folks are not deemed capable of such sophisticated reasoning.

That sort of thing is ordinarily thought to be restricted to the intellectual classes who occupy academic campuses, editorial offices, liberal think tanks and the like, and given their preferences, such responsibilities would be left to them and not to the hoi polloi (you and me) who persist in committing such atrocities as voting for George W. Bush.

As I said in the beginning, however, the application of that much maligned talent, common sense, combined with the ability to recognize one's responsibility and the grit to fulfill it despite many and varied obstacles, appears to be what above all is required to do the kind of job faced by the Peterson case jurors.

They had these qualifications in abundance. One doubts that a jury of the liberal elite could have begun to consider the facts available to them as sufficiently nuanced or convoluted to allow them to reach a clear headed and final conclusion. Their motto being not "I think therefor I am," but more likely "I doubt therefor I may or may not be."

I don't want to take a poke at the original jury foreman, dismissed apparently because he could not unite the jury to hunker down and look at the facts and then single-mindedly plunge forward to reach a conclusion.

But I can't help noting how the media and the assorted legal experts kept expressing their approval and admiration of the man because he was both a doctor and a lawyer and took copious notes throughout the trial. He was obviously an intellectual - more like them than his eleven fellow jurors. They loved him.

I won't knock anybody just because they have both law and medical degrees - it's always been a matter of family pride that my great uncle Philip Augustus Brennan was both a superb practicing lawyer and a practicing physician who was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court by then-governor Franklin Roosevelt (who he came to despise).

But as awesome a figure as he was, I simply can't picture him as a jury foreman, being about as unapproachable a human being as I have ever known. I'm sure he would have taken copious notes, but I suspect his fellow jurors would have cordially disliked his authoritarian ways.

The original foreman was replaced by Steve Cardosi, a firefighter and paramedic who I assume is neither a doctor nor a lawyer but appears to have a keen and analytical mind and an abundance of the kind of common sense needed by those in his profession (I like firefighter/paramedics, my oldest son is one of the breed).

Cardosi, Richelle Nice, an unemployed mother of four and Gregory Beratlis, a football and baseball coach, spoke to reporters, and all emphasized that they took their responsibilities as jurors with the utmost seriousness, carefully weighing all the evidence and examining it in the way that made the most sense.

Working under the most restrictive circumstances, unable to talk about the case with their loved ones or even with one another for six long months, these everyday kind of Americans proved themselves more than up to the task in front of them.

All three insisted they took their work very seriously. Beratlis recalled he couldn't sleep at night and had to struggle to keep his emotions from his family.

"As you can see, I'm an emotional wreck," said a teary Nice. "I've changed and I look at life a lot differently and hold my family close."

The three said they based their decisions on hundreds of small "puzzle pieces" of circumstantial evidence that came out during the trial, from the location of Laci Peterson's body to the myriad of lies her husband told after her disappearance.

Beratlis said he began with believing Peterson was innocent, but the facts of the case just didn't add up that way.

"Those bodies were found in the one place he went prior to her being missing," he said. "I played in my mind over and over conspiracies: Was somebody trying to set up Scott? Was somebody after Laci? It didn't add up for me."

"There's thousands of little moments," Cardosi said, and was echoed by Richelle Nice, who said "When you look at everything and put it all together, it spoke for itself."

That's about as clear an expression of common sense as you can get.

Of course they didn't satisfy the media, some members of which couldn't help but worry that by allowing the jurors to answer questions, they may have supplied the defense with material to be used in the appellate process.

Given the probability that the case will wind up in the idiot 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, it won't matter what they said. If they feel like it, the justices will no doubt find emanations and penumbras and auras justifying a reversal.

We owe these jurors a lot. They did their job without apologies, and in so doing went a long way toward erasing the grim memory of another California jury - the one that defied logic and found O.J. Simpson not guilty.

Thanks guys.

He can be reached at phil@newsmax.com


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To the liberal intelligentsia the ideal juror would have been a deeply reflective fellow liberal who would agonize over the nuances, waver over which facts to accept and which to ignore, and explain after failing to reach a verdict that "I voted to convict before I voted to...
Wednesday, 15 December 2004 12:00 AM
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