Monday, January 25, 1999

The Skeptical Juror

Welcome. I'm The Skeptical Juror.

I come by that name honestly. I’ve served jury duty more than most. I’ve been summoned more than ten times. I can’t recall how many more precisely, just that it's more than ten. I’ve been called enough times that I’ve lost track.

I’ve been called into the jury box seven times for voir dire. I’ve actually served on a jury four times, all criminal cases, all felonies. I was an alternate during my first trial. I was the foreperson in the next three: murder, spousal battery, and child molestation. The last trial was a life-changing event. It led me to create this website, a pending series of books, and this persona.

The dictionary defines “skeptical” as “not easily convinced, having doubts or reservations.” A Skeptical Juror, then, truly and without reservation grants each defendant the presumption of innocence. A Skeptical Juror insists the state carry the burden of proof, and will not vote guilty unless and until the state proves each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. A Skeptical Juror is focused on the evidence and is impervious to the drama.

Most jurors believe they adhere to these precepts. Experience cautions me otherwise.

But I am not merely A Skeptical Juror. I am The Skeptical Juror, as if there is but one. To be sure, there are many other jurors out there who apply a high level of skepticism when adjudicating a case. I fear they are too few, but the existence of just one other is sufficient to prove I am not The One and Only Skeptical Juror. I use the title simply because it is more marketable than A Skeptical Juror. And because it’s cooler.

You can contact me via email at