Coverage of the Fabrice Tourre trial was stuffed with language about how the jury was either
too boredor too stupid to really understand the case.
“Some members of the nine-person jury appeared to fall asleep as one expert witness testified to the ins-and-outs of the deals,” Tracy Alloway reported in the FT. “Another witness who participated in Mr Tourre’s transaction said he could not recall what the term ‘CDO’ stood for.”
It was for these reasons, some observers argued, that Tourre was martyred for a financial crisis in which he was just a small cog.
But NPR’s Planet Money tracked down two of the jurors, an Episcopal priest and a man who works in the film industry, and they actually had some shrewd things to say about the trial (and, now out of sequester, they took issue with some of the media coverage).
“We didn’t feel any malice towards him. We felt sympathy at times,” juror Dylan Maxwell told NPR. “We saw Goldman as the bigger problem. And the whole system as a bigger problem.”
If they looked sleepy, Maxwell said, it was simply because of the droning protocol of the legal process — the same emails read over and over again to new witnesses offering monotonous responses.
“The problem with just going after Fabrice Tourre or going after the different sort of Fabrice Tourres that are in all of these banks is that it doesn’t change the system,” said Beth Glover, another juror. “At least not enough.”
But they had to deal with the case at hand.