Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Jun 09 2006

Judge tells juror how he really feels

A judge in Monterey County apparently felt the need to express leftover feelings to at least one juror, following a murder trial in which the jury deliberations ended in deadlock.

It's apparently a fairly common practice for judges to thank jurors after they have served. But I'm thinking that perhaps this particular letter would have sounded a bit more professional if Judge Moody had opted to omit that middle paragraph. He's entitled to have personal feelings about the case, of course, but expressing those feelings to jurors, particularly when he could have the potential for having the case before him again with a whole new panel of jurors, does not help him look as though he is making a good attempt at impartiality.

The article mentions a spokesperson for the California Judicial Council saying that there is a general recommendation for judges to send a letter of thanks to jurors who have served in their courtroom. And I see on the Council web site that they invite correspondence. I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to write and suggest that they revisit this particular recommendation in order to add some guidelines for judges to consider when writing to jurors, to keep things ethical and above-board.

posted at: 10:43 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry



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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!