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"That Blackburn thinks he knows what went on in that jury room is ridiculous," says another juror. "Why don't we just do away with the jury system and let Mr. Psychic rule? Wouldn't we save a lot of money?

"People watch Law & Order," the juror continues. "I don't think they're as easily inflamed by the antics of lawyers anymore. That's a stupid assumption to make, and any judge who throws out a jury verdict should be incredibly careful about it. It's disturbing to me that all these months later, you can still see his vitriol against Brennan. Good Lord, that ruling just dripped with it. He found a way to punish him, but the one who gets hurt is Cadorna."

During jury selection, Blackburn told the randomly summoned citizens that they were undertaking a great responsibility. "You will have occasion and opportunity to exercise more absolute power and authority than at any other time in your life," he said.

As with many other official statements about the case of the firefighter and the cookbook, that turned out to be a bunch of cockalorum.

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast