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A Trial by Jury

by Burnett, D. Graham A

  • ISBN: 9780375413032
  • ISBN10: 0375413030

A Trial by Jury

by Burnett, D. Graham A

  • List Price: $21.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Publish date: 09/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375413032
  • ISBN10: 0375413030
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Description: Jury duty eventually happens to everyone. When it recently happened to Graham Burnett -- a gifted young historian and literary journalist -- his experience as a foreman on a Manhattan murder case shook and challenged him in ways he scarcely thought possible.

"A Trial by Jury" blows apart the tired cliches of the "courtroom drama." Burnett returns our attention to the mysterious heart of the Anglo-American legal tradition: the jury itself, with its twelve randomly selected citizens locked in a room together until they can return a verdict. Here is the site of the real drama, not the amateur theatrics of the courtroom. Within this sequestered space, Burnett and his fellow jurors wrestle mightily with the case and with each other; argue over the most basic questions about how to deliberate; realize for the first time what the immense power of the state can mean in the life of the individual; and struggle to understand the agonizing distinction between human and divine justice.

Burnett himself undergoes a startling transformation in the crucible of the jury chamber. Plucked from his cozy nest in the world of thoughts and ideas, flush with honors and awards, Graham is first plunged into the netherworld of lurid crime, and then launched into very choppy waters as the ostensible leader of a group of people who view each other, and their task, with palpable distaste. He learns that intellect alone is not enough to forge justice in the real world, and that judging his peers can be as difficult as judging the evidence. And he feels stretched and challenged in ways that ultimately, despite the extreme discomfort of the experience, remind him what it means to be a citizen, and what a tremendousresponsibility that citizenship entails.

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0375413030. In print for 21.00.; Octavo.
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0375413030. Inprint 21.00; 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall.
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pp. 182. Paper over boards. 182pp. Pristine book, crisp, clean, tight never opened or read. DJ flawless. Adult nonfiction. General audience.
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