REVIEW: The Jury Room S1E3 reaches surprising verdict
The third episode of CBS Reality’s innovative new reality series, The Jury Room, reached a surprising and interesting conclusion this evening – as the series continues to challenge the adequacy of the judicial system.
The CBS Reality jury examined the case of Susan May, a 68-year-old woman who was convicted of the murder of her elderly aunt, for whom she was a carer. During the streamlined TV judicial process, we learnt that May’s bloodied handprint was found at the scene of the crime – despite May insisting she had never touched the smothered body. Moreover, May had the incentive to kill – as she would gain financially from the will of the deceased and was in thousands of pounds of debt.
However, the defence argued that the murder could have been a burglary gone wrong – and a later appeal suggested the bloodied handprint could, in fact, be a sweat handprint dyed dark with the iodine used to preserve it.
It was a very different case from the previous two weeks, examining a very unlikely perpetrator with a clear potential motive. Selecting original and thought-provoking cases has been a strength of The Jury Room over the past few episodes, creating enough doubt for jurors to feel sympathetic towards the convicted yet still covering very serious crimes.
The ultimate result is a first for the series, and this contrast from previous episodes is very interesting to watch. The same process is approached in exactly the same way by all those involved and reaches a different – yet still balanced – conclusion. This is as fascinating as the verdict itself.
At first, I was unsure about each episode using the same television jury. However, witnessing the same people reach a different result has proven thoroughly worthwhile. If the series can continue to interest and surprise, it will have a long life on CBS Reality.
For fans who enjoy The Jury Room and would like to hear more about the proceedings, CBS has launched a companion podcast for the series – available to download and listen below: