I was called to serve on a federal jury a few years back. The man on trial had placed a pipe bomb in the truck bed of his wife’s lover. The bomb was found by the lover’s four-year-old son before it was detonated. Russell Clark was the federal judge.
Specialists were called in from all over the United States and I’m sure all of their expenses were paid. The specialists were able to prove that the batteries used were the same group of serial numbers, etc that the accused had in his garage, that the pipe used came from where the accused worked. The jury was fed, housed and paid quite well. It was an expensive trial.
We deliberated for a week and all twelve of us agreed the man was guilty. A couple of weeks later I got a call that the Judge Russell Clark thought he might have allowed some inadmissible evidence so he gave the guy another trial…another jury trial. That jury also found him guilty. Judge Russell Clark said HE didn’t think the man was guilty and let him go.
I wondered at the time how a judge could disregard the ruling of twenty-four people and make the decision himself. I’ve questioned the legality of his decision, but it seems that judges can do whatever they want!