Jury trials, for the lawyer-combatants, have a way of peeling away ideological delusions and quickening the mind toward what`s really going to happen. That is to say, a hard-left lawyer squaring off against a hard-right lawyer, if they`re any good at their craft, are going to come to the same conclusions about what kinds of jurors will be good for them and how those jurors are going to react to witness testimony.
You never hear them whine about the Jewish schoolteacher who won`t render a defense verdict in a personal injury case or the middle-aged white male bound to convict in a criminal case (I mention the Jewish schoolteacher because one of my supervisors, a long-time Jewish civil defense lawyer, cautioned us to never let anyone like his mother, a Jewish schoolteacher, on the jury). They just accept it.
This poker-playing cool is lost on Mary Elizabeth Williams, a Salon writer who`s all upset because whites don`t like Rachel Jeantel. [The smearing of Rachel Jeantel |So why is the star witness in the George Zimmerman case being treated like a defendant?, June 27,2013]
She whines that "Jeantel’s weight, her nails, her sex, her color – these things have precisely jack to do with her account of what happened the night Travyon Martin died"... nor, Williams suggests, do her penchant for getting high, underage drinking, nasty ghetto attitude, and inability to read.
Yet nothing could be further from reality. This is exactly what jurors look at when deciding who`s telling the truth. Judges even instruct jurors that "the ways in which you determine credibility in everyday life are the ways you should be determining the credibility of witnesses at trial."
Sorry, Mary. Let us know when you figure out how to squelch natural juror reactions. When you do, you can earn a lot more working as a jury consultant than a Salon writer.