NY vs. Trump: My experience as an NYC juror leads me to believe the unthinkable could happen

Having served on three Manhattan juries, I would not be surprised if the 12 men and women hearing New York vs. Donald J. Trump acquitted him of all charges. 

During two civil actions and one criminal case, my fellow jurors were serious, professional and movingly civic-minded. A quiet, solemn patriotism infused our deliberations. Several jurors said that we should respect the justice system because, someday, we might need it to respect us. 

My first case was a medical-malpractice lawsuit involving a botched abortion. We empathized with a woman wounded by her doctors, but her lawyer did not prove negligence. So, we backed her physicians. 

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“But we’ve got to give her something,” one juror insisted. 

Others instantly rebuked him. 

“That’s not how it works!” one said. “I feel sorry for her, too,” another admitted. “But her lawyer never made her case.” 

So, we sent the plaintiff home without a penny. 

Next, we deliberated intensely for almost three days before concluding that a Harlem drug counselor never demonstrated his defamation-of-character claim against his employers. My sympathetic pleas went unheeded, and he left empty-handed. 

Finally, in her closing argument, a criminal prosecutor displayed a CD-ROM of a police dispatcher’s “Be on the lookout” announcement after an armed robbery. When we asked the judge to play that recording, he told us that it was not in evidence.  

Disgusted by this prosecutorial deception, we instantly and angrily acquitted the defendants. Minutes later, as foreman, I proudly announced our verdict in court. 

These three cases confirm that Manhattan juries are sober and perfectly capable of fairness. 

This is good news for Trump. 

A jury of level-headed Manhattanites would appreciate these facts that verify the profound vacuity and fundamental unfairness of District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s “case” against Trump: 

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With 48% of registered voters telling Reuters-Ipsos last month that Trump’s Kafkaesque cases are “excessive and politically motivated” (41% disagree), even a Manhattan jury could scrap Bragg’s contraption. 

My memories of jury duty, including within the Stalinesque building in which Trump is being persecuted, tell me that deliberating jurors could think, “I won’t vote for Trump. But I cannot convict him beyond a reasonable doubt in a shaky case about actions that are lurid, but legal.  

If just one juror agrees, this case will end with a hung jury. A second trial would be unlikely before Election Day. 

And if “lurid, but legal” reflects the opinions of 12 of my fellow Manhattanites — who tend to be tough, but fair — then former President Donald J. Trump will be acquitted on all charges and go back where he belongs: the campaign trail.  

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