On a cold December night in 2008, two NYPD officers were dispatched to help an intoxicated young woman in Manhattan's East Village. What happened next would result in the startling accusation that the police officers had raped the woman. After a weeks-long, and at many times harrowing, trial in spring of 2011, the jury of seven men and five women handed down controversial rape acquittals which inspired outrage and protests.
In the Gothamist Feature, "Confessions of a 'Rape Cop' Juror," juror Patrick Kirkland gives an inside look at how he and his fellow arbiters of the law tackled the lack of physical evidence, the testimonies of the accused and accusers, and their duty as they reached the unpopular verdict.
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fascinating look inside our justice system
No matter what you think about the verdict, this is a fascinating look inside how it came to be. The possibility of serving on a jury some day is real for all of us and that makes this an even more compelling read. I lived in NYC when this crime was reported, but not while the case was being tried. At the time of the crime, I believed the woman and thought the cops were guilty. Had I read the news medias reports, I probably would have felt the same way. That's why I read this inside look at how the jury came to their conclusion.
This is a riveting, clear and fast read that sheds light on how a jury found these policemen not guilty. Each juror had their own opinions about what might have happened, but they were following the direction of the Court to only convict the defendants if they've been convinced completely by the evidence and the testimonies of all involved that they're guilty. There cannot be any doubt.
It was disturbing to read that a law professor told the writer (after the trial) that very few juries actually take the concept of "beyond a reasonable doubt" seriously. But this jury did. As the writer says, if I'm ever on trial, I would want the jury to abide by that law.
I still have no idea what happened that night, but now I understand how that verdict came to be and I appreciate the inside look.
This should be required reading before anyone serves on a jury.
Good quick read
Good quick read. Gives the reader the perspective as the jury lived it.
Important to read this !
I think it's truly important to hear a jurors perspective. It is an incredibly difficult task and those who only read the newspaper accounts or get their information from the television have such a warped perspective of what the jury uses to make their decision.
Very well written.