Grief was my subject


When your reporter, Lisa Provence, misrepresented my written account of jury duty in the Andrew Alston trial last summer [July 28, 2005: "No malice: Alston juror cites drunkenness"], I was unhappy but chose to remain silent. Now that she has done it again, however [January 12, 2006: Uncivil: Sisks sue son's killer"], I feel that I must object.

I wrote a 3,000-word article for a particular audience– Swarthmore College alumni– describing the emotional impact of being a juror in a case that was so heartbreaking I was grief-stricken for months. The article was about me, not about how the jury came to its decision.

Provence is not interested in fairly representing what I wrote; she obviously has an axe to grind. Her reporting immediately after the trial, in November 2004, struck me as biased and inflammatory, designed to boost newspaper circulation rather than to inform.

One thing I have learned from being a juror is not to make up my mind about who is guilty and what punishment is merited from reading newspaper accounts. It is hard enough, when sitting in the jury box, to hear every single word spoken in the courtroom. The spectators miss a great deal, and readers of the Hook missed even more.

Anyone wishing to read the article I wrote can find it easily on the Internet by searching on the title, "Seek Justice, Love Mercy." They will not find a detailed account of the trial or of what went on in the jury room. They will find a very personal account of my attempt to deal with my grief.

Elizabeth P. Kutchai