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No rule prohibits a juror from serving on a trial for a crime he or she has personally endured. (Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, told me that, if a jury was meant to represent one’s peers, the prevalence of sexual assault was a relevant fact. “If you take away people who have had a sexual assault in their life, you certainly don’t have a jury of your peers. Because your peers have been sexually assaulted.”) A requirement is simply that each juror be “fair and impartial.” In the view of Vartanian and Cherniske, both jurors still were; some vaguely phrased queries had simply confused them. The pair withheld out of misunderstanding, not dishonesty. This carried no suggestion of bias.
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