In 1995, when O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering two people, I assumed that the title of "dumbest jury ever" would have to be retired. However, nine years later, that group of twelve has been bumped into second place.
I was reading about the case in Florida of the eleven year old girl that was abducted and later found dead over the weekend. I've heard of plenty of crimes committed by people that should have been in jail for prior acts, but I don't recall hearing of a situation where the man accused was tried for a related crime previously, only to be found not guilty.
Several years ago, the man accused of abducting and murdering this girl was on trial for attempted kidnapping, and the victim testified that he threatened her with a knife and also said that if she did not cooperate that he would kill her. While not having seen an actual transcript of the testimony, it seems rather conclusive. Or maybe not. The defense instead argued that the man was only trying to help the victim because she looked as she was going to fall into the street and there was quite a bit of traffic. He was actually saving her, not threatening her.
The jury bought it and found him innocent. The guy has been in constant trouble since, up to this incident.
I'm all for innocent until proven guilty, but I think we should change the wording to "You will be judged by a jury of your peers, who may in fact be complete idiots." And I think that would make for some interesting questioning when juries are being screened: "Have you ever watched an episode of "The Simple Life? Yes? Your honor, I accept this juror."
I can't imagine what any of those jurors that acquitted this guy must be feeling today.