JUSTICE AND THE SYMPATHY FACTOR

Legal issues are supposed to be resolved by cold-blooded logic, by rational analysis—in theory, emotions such as sympathy for a family, sorrow for the loss of a life, are legally "irrelevant." The reality is that feelings of sympathy and sorrow are unavoidable in any case involving personal tragedy, and it is often the case that juries make decisions based more on feelings than on analysis, or "the law," Not every juror has the ability to put aside the "people" to focus on the right, or just, outcome. I agree that justice was done in this particular case, notwithstanding the inevitable sympathy that everyone involved felt for the family of the victim.

Jeffrey JonesManaging Partner, Palmer & Dodge LLP

NEXT IN THIS ISSUE
Article
NO OTHER VIABLE OPTION
May 23, 2005
Contents

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.

Submit