Saturday, January 16, 2010

Philadelphia Freedom

Philly.com is reporting that Councilman Jack Kelly lost his defamation lawsuit, the jury returned a verdict late Friday for the gadfly Paul Corbett.  This interesting case, highlighted on Bad Lawyer began with coverage of a Judge A.J. Snite's remakable pique with Corbett's attorney who had the idea that perhaps the jury ought to hear the words of the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions on Free Speech.  Jeff Shields, Chris Brennan and Catherine Lucey at the Philadelphia Inquirer provided comprehensive coverage of the blow by blow.  Here's hoping they are permitted to follow up with a overacrching examination of how this case got to a jury, and juror interviews. 

Let me quote something, that I heard, again, the other night from one of the few really decent courtroom dramas, Anatomy of Murder.  The defense attorneys are waiting on the jury's verdict, and Jimmy Stewart's film associate, Parnell McCarthy (played by Arthur O'Connell) quietly marvels:

"Twelve people go off into a room; twelve different minds, twelve different hearts from twelve different walks of life, twelve sets of eyes, ears, shapes and sizes. And these twelve people are asked to judge another human being as different from them as they are from each other. And in their judgment they must become of one mind--unanimous. It is one of the miracles of Man's disorganized souls that they can do it, and in most instances, do it right well. God bless juries."

Civil juries tend to consist of less than twelve, but the same sentiment applies.  God bless juries.

3 comments:

  1. good film, although I sometimes confuse it with 12 Angry Men (the 50's version), which starred Henry Fonda. (Fonda and Stewart sometimes get mixed up in my memory, although of course I can tell them apart onscreen). Anatomy of Murder, as I recall, took place in Michigan, didn't it?

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  2. Anatomy of a Murder (1959) is an American trial court drama film directed by Otto Preminger and written by Wendell Mayes based on the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. Traver based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney. It occurs in the resort community of Thunder Bay, in the UP, of MI

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