Sometimes we’d just rather not know, because knowing seems to include a responsibility to do something, and not only can’t we do anything (other than a blog post, I guess) but we wouldn’t be too sure what to do even if we could do something.
Anyhow. There’s a guy named Paul Sanders. He apparently sat on a jury in a death penalty case in Maricopa County Arizona, where a woman named Marissa Devault was convicted of killing her husband, named Dale Harrell, with hammer blows to the head. After the trial he wrote a book about his jury “experience”.
And he writes a blog where he talks about other death penalty cases as well, including of course the Jodi Arias case which comes out of the same increasingly weird Arizona backwater.
The guy is unbelievably self-absorbed:
A political science professor told me once in my senior year of college, “You are altruistic to a fault.” I would hope that all of us in this room are the same way. That we are united in the belief that despite the horror of what human beings do to each other, we can find the good from of it. We will search through the wreckage of what any trial is, a search for lessons. Closure comes when one is ready and, sometimes, it may never come at all.
He promises more. Ugh:
I believe I have eleven more books in me. The first eight will be from one to two trials a year. Then, there are three on the shelves: “Mortician”, “Limousine: Looking Back” and “The King’s Crown”. This would give us thirteen books.
He has a special gift from God. We’re not making this up:
The driving force behind this site is this special ability that God has given me. I do not understand where some of my creations come from. I love the art of a good title, “The Logistics of Serendipity”, being one of my favorite. Maybe my writings are “Flowery and Slanted”, maybe there is some bias, a confirmatory bias, toward the victim. And, maybe, it favors the jury. It is in the jury that we find justice. If we do not, then we find the lessons…One might hope that my gift can clarify the confusion and pain that one suffers as a family feels in a murder trial. If it helps one person have faith when the night is darkest, then my gift is worth the effort.
This is the nightmare juror. The trial is about whether the accused is guilty, and that’s all it’s about. It’s not about the victims. And it’s certainly not about the lawyers, or the jurors, although they are the main actors in the production.
To a juror like this guy, though, a trial of someone else, about something with no connection to him, will wind up being about him.
One Amazon reviewer of his book gets it:
Sounds to me like this person should never have been on a jury to begin with, also hope Marissa Devault’s attorneys can use this book to prove juror misconduct. She hasn’t had her first appeal yet.
Yeah. What she said.
Lawyers should be thinking about how to ferret out narcissistic assholes like this in jury selection. We don’t think there’s any easy way to do that, though.
Food for thought.