A Trial by Jury

A Trial by Jury

3.42 (296 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Description

Jury duty eventually happens to everyone. It recently happened to Graham Burnett - a young historian and literary journalist. A TRIAL BY JURY is his riveting account of how performing this familiar civic duty turned into one of the most harrowing experiences of his life. The People of New York v. Monte Virginia Milcray had all the elements of being a sensational and disturbing trial: a body with multiple stab wounds found in a tiny New York apartment, intimations of cross-dressing, male prostitution, mistaken identity. But for Burnett, who was appointed the foreman, and the other eleven members of the jury, the four days and three nights it took to arrive at a verdict proved more traumatic still. During that time twelve overwrought strangers struggled for a verdict when they had no sure answers, remaining locked in the black box of the jury room all day and virtual prisoners in their hotel at night. Attempting to steer the jury through the ambiguities of the case, Burnett discovered for himself the terrifying power of the state and the agonies of trying to do justice within the inherent rigidities of law. Part true crime, part political treatise, part contemplation of right, wrong, and the power of words, A TRIAL BY JURY is a mesmerizing narrative of one man's encounter with crime and punishment.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 145 x 207mm | 439g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • plan
  • 0747554749
  • 9780747554745

Review quote

The phenomenal popularity of John Grisham (and his legion of imitators) demonstrates that the legal thriller is in rude health, and nary a month passes without a slew of new entries. This one is something different: a real-life courtroom drama that has all the elements that fans of the legal thriller enjoy, along with the frisson of it being the real thing. When Graham Burnett - a young historian and literary journalist - found himself on jury duty, he little suspected that it would be one of the most harrowing experiences of his life. The People of New York v. Monte Virginia Milcray had all the elements of being a sensational and disturbing trial: a body with multiple stab wounds found in a tiny New York apartment, intimations of cross-dressing, male prostitution, mistaken identity. But for Burnett (appointed foreman of the jury) and his 11 colleagues, the subsequent trial was to prove traumatic. Trying to steer the jury through the ambiguities of the case, Burnett realised that the power of the state and the difficulties of attempting to do justice within the rigidities of the law were formidable obstacles. As a picture of crime and punishment, this is truly riveting stuff.show more

About D. Graham Burnett

D. Graham Burnett is a historian of science and the author of MASTERS OF ALL THEY SURVEYED. He has taught at Yale and Columbia, and is currently assistant professor of history at Princeton.show more

Rating details

296 ratings
3.42 out of 5 stars
5 11% (34)
4 34% (101)
3 44% (129)
2 7% (21)
1 4% (11)
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