Americana: Hungover Jury

Justice may not have been blind, but it was probably seeing double. Jurors in the District of Columbia superior court had been deliberating a day and a half in the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl when Foreman Robert Smoot sent a note to Judge Fred Ugast. A decision was impossible, wrote Smoot, unless two jurors were replaced. In a corner of the note Smoot penned, "Drinking problem."

Ugast was aghast when some jurors told him that Virginia Starks had been secretly drinking for days during the trial, that during deliberations, Juanita Ross had joined her, and that Starks and Ross...

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