The World's Worst Juror
(from "Book of Heroic Failures", by Stephen Pile)
It happened at a rape trial in Snaresbrook (U.K.) county court on an unusually warm and sultry day. One of the jurors fell asleep just as the victim was being questioned by the prosecuting counsel. "Would you," he asked, "tell the court precisely what the defendant said to you before the attack?" "No, she would not." she said. "It was far too crude and shocking." "Would you be prepared to write it down?" And she did, with every sign of distaste (it was, broadly speaking, a promise that nothing in the history of sexual congress compared with what the rapist planned to do to his victim), and the paper was passed to the judge, learned counsel, the clerk of the court, and the jury. In the second row, our hero slumbered on until he was suddenly woken by a sharp nudge from the smiling brunette next to him. She passed the note to him. He read the message thereon, gazed in wonder at his neighbour, read it again, winked at the woman, and slipped the note in his pocket. When the judge demanded the note back, the juror refused. It was, he said, a private matter.