Two Criminal Trials for The Price of One – Budgetary Concerns and Criminal Justice in Santa Clara
Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s analysis of the two-jury criminal trials in the Mercury news lacks merit. To begin with, Criminal trials are difficult and require a constant focus that is, at times, difficult with one jury. The idea that the criminal justice system can and should save resources by grouping defendants together and having two or more juries hear parts of the testimony presented is absurd. While the rules allow for one of the juries to be removed in the event that they are not to hear some of the testimony, it is difficult for counsel and defendant to keep track of all of the evidence and this confusion will, inevitably, lead to mistrials and costly appeals. The idea that we accommodate a single jury for a single case because we “prefer the comfort of the familiar” is profoundly disingenuous. We accommodate criminal defendants because it is a sacred part of American democracy. That no citizen should be convicted unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.