Juries fascinate me. I'm frequently -- yearly -- called for jury duty and remain certain I'll never be seated. But even my short exposure to a succession of jury examinations has convinced me that there is something about the experience that can, sometimes, bring out the best in us as citizens. I've told the story of one such episode here.
On Monday, a federal jury in Dallas reported out numerous acquittals and several failures to reach a verdict in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation and its executives on various charges of funding terrorism. The Texas-based Muslim foundation had been under federal investigation for many years -- some of the charges dated back to before the Palestinian Hamas movement that allegedly benefited from the charithad even been declared a terrorist organization. None of the charges suggested Holy Land's contributions paid for guns and bombs; they paid for clinics and schools, but that propped up "terrorism."
For a few moments in the courtroom, it seemed that the jurors had resoundingly rejected the government's theory of guilt -- and then some jurors protested that they hadn't voted as they indicated on the signed jury statement. The judge declared a mistrial and the feds say they'll try again.
So what came out of this bizarre trial and its aftermath? There are a lot of different points of view. I've compiled some here.
I'm neither as encouraged as Mr. Knight nor as pessimistic as Mr. Feige at the trial's outcome. But I am reminded that "it's never over til it is over."