After sitting through a 10-month drug gang trial, Jim Caron took his jury duty a bit further. In a letter last month to U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts, the retired government economist wrote that the jury was mystified by prosecutors’ claims that the defendants had conspired in a violent drug gang in the Congress Park neighborhood and asked the judge to jettison similar cases before trial phase to save time and tax dollars, The Washington Post reports.
"I do feel that the case against the defendants would have been more fairly tried if the prosecution had just focused on the crimes for which they had solid evidence against the defendants,” Caron explained in the letter.
In November, the jury convicted the alleged ringleader and four other defendants on about half of the drug distribution charges sought by prosecutors, and another defendant was convicted of murder. But Caron said that he and the other jurors found almost zero evidence of narcotics conspiracy or criminal racketeering enterprise charges that carry serious time.
"With some of these [murder] charges, the testimony and other evidence was so lacking that we found the defendant not guilty with very little discussion. I did wonder if some of the murder charges would ever have reached the trial stage if they had been prosecuted individually," Caron wrote.
The District’s U.S. Attorney, Jeffrey Taylor, told the Post that his office "would bring this case again tomorrow.”
"We respect the jury system, but we respectfully disagree with this juror's perspective," he said.