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Anatomy of a Jury

The Inside Story of How 12 Ordinary People Decide the Fate of an Accused Murderer
Narrated by: Peter Powlus
Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Acclaimed author and respected attorney Seymour Wishman takes listeners behind closed jury room doors for an eye-opening exploration of American justice

In autumn 1982, in the affluent New Jersey community of Glen Ridge, a woman is found brutally murdered in her home. The victim's distraught husband points police to a likely perpetrator: an African American handyman with a criminal record. A search of the suspect's home reveals nothing, but still the man is indicted for the crime. His ultimate fate is to be determined by "a jury of his peers" - twelve strangers with no special legal skills or training and a fervent desire to do what is right.

Based on an actual criminal investigation and trial, Seymour Wishman's Anatomy of a Jury carries us from the crime scene to the courthouse to the jury room, providing a fascinating, in depth look into the nation's criminal justice system. Riveting, detailed, and intensely dramatic, Wishman's remarkable book offers provocative insights into how we administer justice, how we judge others, and how others may judge us.

©1986 Seymour Wishman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Admiralu
  • 21-07-20

The Jury Experience

This was an interesting and informative book on how the jury system operates. It follows a representative case from selection to trial and explains the history and studies made that contribute to what happens during the trial and deliberations. It over explains at some point, but the case is interesting and so was the verdict. Despite this, the book is somewhat dated and doesn't represent what has changed in the recent past. It's more of a snapshot in time. I did enjoy reading and listening to the audiobook version, though the narration was rote and monotone. Several times I thought that wouldn't happen now. The book is set in New Jersey and they picked their jurors by lottery. Not so here in CA. The last time I was called, a hundred of us went to a courtroom to be seeded out. That won't happen again because of the Corona virus. It is an interesting insight into how the system works. Unfortunately like many others, I wouldn't want to be on one.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-15

Very realistic

As a criminal defense attorney trying cases for 24 years I can say that the feelings, emotions and decision making in this book are spot on.
Some of the thought process I thought were unique to my own cases I now realize are commonplace among experienced trial lawyers.

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  • Laura
  • 31-01-14

Accurate, More or Less

Would you consider the audio edition of Anatomy of a Jury to be better than the print version?

How could I possibly know? I didn't view the print version.

What other book might you compare Anatomy of a Jury to and why?

I would venture to say that it's a weak "any" Grisham book.

Did Peter Powlus do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Mr. Powlus is quite monotone, which may be largely responsible for the boredom I experienced throughout. Trials are "my thing," as I have been involved in hundreds over several decades, and I am generally pleased to read or listen to fiction or nonfiction books. Quite disappointed that my mind wandered throughout.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Boredom and several inaccuracies.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Wishman claims he has prosecuted and defended (civil or criminal?) cases. How is it then that he states as fact that most (all) criminal defendants testify at trial.As this book is written about a criminal trial, I can only address Mr. Wishman's claim as to the testimony of a defendant. Mr. Wishman could not be more inaccurate as to his claim that most/nearly all defendants testify before the trier of fact. Not true. It is rare, indeed, that a criminal defendant testifies. In county, state and federal courts, I have been an integral part of hundreds of trials,ranging from the most boring (as in watching paint dry) engineering fiasco such as the settlement of the Sears building in D.C, federal agency civil cases, a horrific plane crash that occurred in whiteout conditions, killing all aboard, etc. Despite many interesting and not so interesting civil cases, criminal jury trials occurring during whiteout conditions ranging from a horrific plane crash which was due to whiteout conditions, and the like. In civil cases, a high percentage of defendants testify.However, as to criminal, contrary to the author's claim, very, very few defendants testify before the trier of fact. Why is this? Let me count the reasons: (1) a lawyer ethically cannot put a client on the witness stand who has admitted the crime to him/her (2) defendants tend to incriminate themselves as they are very poor, nervous witnesses (3) contradicting a police officer is fruitless, as police officers are the most experienced and confident criminal trial witnesses (4) juries, though instructed not to do so, often identify with the victim in a criminal case, (5) rarely have corroboration as to their version of events, and on and on and on.The reason I address this misstatement of most/nearly all/all criminal defendants is that the author claims a huge factor in the outcome of the case was the defendant not taking the witness stand. The author must not have been a trial attorney or he wouldn't have misled his readers. Maybe this particular "fact" as told by the author would slip past people as irrelevant, but it is not accurate and the author throws it in as a major factor in the outcome of the trial.

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