In a criminal justice system based on 12 individuals not smart enough to get out of jury duty, here is a jury of which to be proud. A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defence’s closing statement, the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all,” the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. “Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom.” He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly.
A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally, the lawyer said, “Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed, and I insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.”
The jury retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. “But how?” enquired the lawyer. “You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door.”
The jury foreman replied: “Yes, we did look, but your client didn’t.