November 1, 2007

When is Juror Doubt Reasonable?

By David Paulin

The worldview embraced by the O.J. Simpson jurors has run amuck. A riveting murder trial in Michigan ended last week in a mistrial, demonstrating that some jurors are capable of ignoring serious evidence of horrific crimes.

Orange Amir Taylor III, a 21-year-old African-American and former student at Eastern Michigan University, was accused of smothering or strangling fellow student Laura Dickinson, 22, in her dorm room last December. It seemed like an open-and-shut case. Taylor's semen was found on Dickinson's inner thigh. Strong fiber evidence placed him in the room, as did security cameras, among other evidence.

Taylor's lawyer Alvin Keel nevertheless offered a defense that conceded criminality and perversity during the week-long trial: His client was indeed in Dickinson's room, but only to commit burglary. What about his client's semen? Upon seeing Dickinson's lifeless body, his client masturbated over it, Keel explained:

"Mr. Taylor being in a room with a dead body may be stupid, but stupidity doesn't equal murder," Keel was quoted as saying. "Sperm does not equal penetration and it does not necessarily show asphyxiation," he said, at another point.

To read the rest of this article go to The American Thinker, where this piece was originally published.

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