As an American, I am profoundly depressed by this thread. I respect the juror who is posting his perspective here, and greatly appreciate the fact he's taking the time to explain what happened from an insider's perspective. But his account reveals a terrible devolution of our system of justice: the ordinary citizens on a jury no longer protect us against an inappropriate or unfair application of the law.
It makes me furious every time I hear a juror come out of the jury room and say "I don't think he really did anything bad, but according to the judge's instructions, I had no choice but to convict." No, you had a choice. The brilliantly cynical and untrusting rebels who wrote the Constitution put you there to make the choice. Not an unfeeling robotic choice, not a judge-directed decision, but an independent decision that truly reflects the informed judgment of a "jury of peers."
The jury has become, not an independent check against the juggernaut of government prosecution, but a mere puppet of the system. In such a legal system, any one of us can be sent to jail for life on the government's whim, because there's not one of us who doesn't -- knowingly or unknowingly -- violate several laws daily; we count on juries to say, when appropriate, "ok, maybe he technically violated the law, but this prosecution is unreasonable, and we're not going along with it."
Our system was designed to make it really, really hard to convict. And really easy to acquit. If the prosecutor doesn't like the case, he can toss it out. If the judge doesn't like the case, he can toss it out. Heck, if the judge doesn't like the jury's "guilty" verdict, he can toss it out (but he can't set aside a "not guilty" verdict). Why has the jury come to believe they can't exercise at least the same power as the prosecutors and the judge routinely do: the power to toss out a case that just ain't right?