I meant to catch this one the other day. I want to applaud Edward Conradt for sticking to his guns in the Kenneth Albers murder trial in Pawnee City. His stubbornness and refusal to vote for a guilty verdict forced a mistrial in the case which, although unfortunate, isn't the end of the world. The defendant, Patrick Schroeder, will be tried again.
It takes a tremendous amount of guts to stand up to 11 fellow jurors, and even more to acknowledge to the public that you were the lone holdout in what appeared to most people to be an open-and-shut case. Mr. Conradt had doubt and he voted accordingly. Good for him.
Not having participated in the deliberations, none of us know whether Mr. Conradt's doubt was "reasonable". Who knows, perhaps he just wanted to be a real life Mr. Davis. It sounds like he focused a lot on the issues surrounding the defendant's confessions, perhaps at the expense of other, less questionable evidence. Raising an eyebrow at the prospect of a coerced confession doesn't sound unreasonable to me. But again, I wasn't there to see and hear all the evidence.
Generally speaking, I'm glad there are jurors out there who are willing to stand behind their reasonable doubt. I wish there were more of them, lots more. Not because I want to see potentially guilty people go free, but because I hate to see potentially innocent people go to prison. Ultimately such jurors force police and prosecutors to do a better job, from the crime scene to the trial, and that's a win for all of us.