Throughout our legal history we are familiar with incidentsnof jury-tampering, the act of buying off or frightening onenor more of the 12 men good and true called upon to decide ancase. I’his is done to predetermine a verdict, usually to assure an”not guilty.” We have heard of vicious gangsters, corrupt unionnbosses, and crooked politicians conspiring to rig juries. But whonhas ever heard of a jury rigging itself? Recently I served on onenattempting to do just that. Not for money nor from blackmail.nMore subtle pressures obtained, psychological pressures, emotionalnpressures, moral pressures.nThe question of jury psychology has long attracted attentionn(recall the film Twelve Angry Men), but never more than today,nwhen we have famous cases involving the likes of Rodney King,nReginald Denny, the Menendez brothers, and John and LorenanBobbitt. Court TV is there to bring them to us live and uncensored.nMesmerized, we watch the accjuittals roll in: Not Guilty,nNot Guilty, Hung Jury, Not Guilty by reason of temporary insanity—takensix weeks in a clinic. And we sit bewildered, as thenlatest crime statistics are published. Yes, they are skyrocketing,nbut not to worry: the citizenry is astir and congressmen are introducingnfederal legislation. This month’s crime bill will passnand become law. And so there will be even more cases for juriesnto decide.nHow will they decide them? How should they decide them?nWill anything change? George P. Fletcher, law professor atnColumbia University, writes that the only check on wa)’ward ju-nChristopher Baldwin is a novelist in Clifton, New jersey.nJury-Riggingnby Christopher Baldwinnries is for “our judges to be more vigilant against speculativenlines of attack that play on jurors’ fears with buzz words likenchild abuse and racism. They must rein in defense kw-yers whonhave wakened to the potential of putting the victim on trial.”nFletcher is probably right, but it is delusive to think judgesnare going to strip lawyers of a powerful weapon. Attorneys willncontinue to incite jurors’ fears, for there is a fortune in gold tonbe mined from that lode. Fear. It was a palpable presence innthe jury room where I sat, a 13th juror. It infected nearly everyone.nThe scjualid little case I will recount is a useful lens fornviewing the celebrated, protracted, nationally known medianevents, because, in a run-of-the-mill trial with a nonentity of andefendant, a verdict that should have been reached in 15 minutesninstead took four anguished days to reach.nThe venue for this case was the city of Paterson in PassaicnCounty, New Jersey. Anyone familiar with the area will immediatelynknow from where the jury was culled: suburban townsnlike Little Falls, Clifton, West Paterson, and Wayne. Strollingnthrough the courthouse common room and its environs wherenthe various jury panels await their summons to the courtroom,nI was struck by the sea of white faces: people queued up at thensnack bar, some slouched in hard plastic chairs scanning newspapersnand magazines, others watched the big television andnsipped coffee from cardboard cups, still others made calls at paynphones. All wore the round “Passaic County Juror” buttonsnpinned sheepishly to their chests and stood out, in this heavilynblack and Hispanic town, from the clerical staff of the courthousenand municipal building, who are also mostly black andnnnMARCH 1995/25n