Phrases to remove from your vocabulary: impartial, neutral, jury of your peers, and legal system has spoken.
As someone who spent five years as a jury consultant I can tell you with full confidence that there is no such thing as an impartial jury, jurors do not check their biases at the courthouse doors, you will never be judged by a jury of your peers, and the legal system rarely speaks in the name of justice.
Someone recently asked me how I maintain a source of consistent optimism in justice work. Maybe I don’t say this publicly enough, but short answer: I don’t.
This week I have been pessimistic about everything from voting rights to Ferguson to the value and impact of my own writing, work, and research. It doesn’t mean I give up or look for a bright side — it means pessimism happens. And it means I’ll have plenty of fuel for a badass critique by the weekend.