Monday, February 28, 2011

The Runaway Jury By: John Grisham

The Runaway Jury by John Grisham is about a tobacco trial in Mississippi. The victim in this trial has been dead for years and his widowed wife Celeste Woods files a lawsuit against the tobacco company Pynex. This book focuses on the jury and its members more than anything. The selection process is very intense and is scrutinized by both sides. Millions and millions of dollars are spent by each side to select the perfect jury. One juror is there only to get the verdict he thinks is right and is not who he appears to be. Nicholas Easter, which isn't his real name, has registered and gotten into many important jurys across the country and is intent on getting onto this one. In the end he is put on the jury and begins to execute his plan. He eliminates jurors he feels aren't helping the cause and gets in the alternates that he wants. He quickly becomes the leader and the voice of the jury and demands and recieves several things from the judge. He doesn't work alone though. He has a partner known only as Marlee who is there to make bribes for getting a jurors vote and make money off of the trial and she does this to great success. This is an important trial for both sides as the tobacco companies have never lost and this trial could shift the legal balance. Will this trial change the balance or will it remain the same with the tobacco companies winning again?

Questions
1. If you were on the jury would you vote for the tobacco company saying he knowing smoked cigarettes and deserves no compenstation or would you vote for Celeste Woods saying that the tobacco companies shouldn't put nicotine in or lower the amounts of nicotine in cigarettes?
2. If you were one of the lawyers and were aproached by Marlee with a bribe would you accept the bribe to get a jurors vote knowing that it is unethical?

25 comments:

Josie D 7/8 said...

1. I would vote for Celeste Woods. Tabacco is dangerous and addictive, which is why the cigarette companies put tabacco in cigarettes. Although, she may not deserve money since her husband did know the risk, but I would want the companies to lower their nicotine content.
2. No, I would not. Or at least, I hope I would not. Because taking bribes is unfair and does not give the person who is truly right a chance for fair judgement.

Sarah N. 7-8 said...

2. I agree with Josie. I hope I would never accept a bribe, because it is unjust and illegal. It is harder to say that you would refuse to accept a bribe if it involved hurting someone or killing someone. However, I think that a jury should try to be fair, in order to keep the nation running smoothly and avoiding corruption.

AnaleeL7-8 said...

1) I would vote for the tobacco company because everyone knows the risk of smoking cigarettes and they are just trying to make their product sell and others health concerns is not their main concern.

Ashley B. 1-2 said...

2) I would not take a bribe. That is just wrong. A jury is meant to be neutral to the parties. If one favors a party then it is considered unfair.

Abby M. 1-2 said...

1. I would side with Celeste Woods in the trial because tobacco companies are fully aware that what they are doing is hurting and in some cases killing people, yet they do nothing about it. Disregarding people's health and safety of consumers just to make money should never be allowed in the business world.

Avi D. 7/8 said...

1. I would frankly side with the tobacco industries because it is up to the consumer to use good discretion when shopping for products. We as people are well aware of the negative and harmful affects of tobacco. It is our responsibility to refrain from consuming tobacco. This would be like me speeding on a local road with a new car, getting stopped by a cop, and suing the car dealership for making a car that makes me want to speed.

Lisa T. 1-2 said...

1. While I think people would be much better off if tobacco companies didn't exist, they are a business making money off a product that is obviously dangerous. Customers should not expect anything less than the effects they were warned about before they began smoking.
2. I hope I wouldn't take the bribe, mostly because I just really wouldn't want to get involved in anything of that nature. It's unfair and I'd feel guilty about it, which probably isn't worth the money.

Brandon M. 1-2 said...

1. I'm afraid that the tobacco companies are not to blame in this situation. They are doing nothing wrong by putting their products out on the market with their own ingredients. Like all of life's temptations, it is the responsibility of the person to resist. He just made a bad decision. (Whose fault was it that Adam ate Satan's apple, well it was Eve who convinced him!)

2. Good question...I cannot say that I think about that a lot. Um, I guess I wouldn't do it because I'm just such a good person. I also don't side with myself in the court case so there's a big problem right there.

Kyle N.1-2 said...

I would vote against the tobacco company. It's the same with smoking...it should be outlawed everywhere. It's dangerous. People would say "it'll hurt the economy"...but isn't it more important to save lives?

2. I don't think I would. You are called to the jury to decide what you think is right, not to decide on the one that gives you more money.

Nicole H. 7-8 said...

2. I would not take a bribe because that is unjust and unfair. What if someone later asked me to take a bribe and the bribe was meant to convict someone I knew?

Spencer P. 1-2 said...

1. I would vote for Celeste and try to lower the amounts of nicotine because that's all cigarettes are, nicotine and smoke.
2. I would not accept the bribe out of fear of being caught, not because its unethical.

Morgan O 7-8 said...

1) I think that the tobacco company is partially to blame, but they can only sell what people buy, and he did smoke while fully aware of what it could do to him. Though i do not agree with what the tobacco companies are doing, I believe he is responsible for smoking and therefore should receive no compensation for his death.
2)No I would not accept the bribe because though it would be tempting, it would be wrong to manipulate the justice system in that way, and though it would help me, it would harm the tobacco company unjustly.

Sydney M 7-8 said...

1. I would vote for Celest Woods' side because ciagarettes are a cause to many deaths. Personally I think that they should just not be made, they are an awful addictive and put harm to everyone. Nicotine shouldn't be put in cigarettes.

Renae G. 1-2 said...
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Renae G. 1-2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renae G. 1-2 said...

1. I agree with Sydney. Cigarettes cause way too many deaths so i would vote for Celest Woods' side.

2. If I were one of the lawyers I would never accept a bribe. It is unlawful.

Sydney S. 1-2 said...

1. I agree with Renae and the other Sydney. I would vote for Celeste Woods' side because cigarettes kill so many people. They shouldn't even be manufactured, and should not have nicotine in them.

2. If I were one of the lawyers, I would not have accepted the bribe. It is not honest and is very unjust.

Monica J. 1-2 said...

1. I would vote that he knowingly smoked the cigarettes and deserves no compensation because it is his own fault. He knew what he was doing.
2. NO i couldnt ebcause i would be to scaried that i would get caught because thats a federal crime i think.

Megan M 1-2 said...

1. I agree with what people have been saying, cigarettes are horrible and should not be made however they didnt force him to smoke and it was choice to smoke anyways. So he knew that smoking was bad for him, as much as any other person they know it is bad but it was their decision so they shouldn't be surprised if they get sick.
2. I know the bribe would be tempting but I probably would not be able to live with myslef if I did the wrong thing.

Heather B. 1-2 said...

1.) I would vote for Celeste Woods. Tobacco companies are not responsible and make money off the slow death of the people who use their product.

2.) No, because I would not want to risk my future because of a bribe.

Sevgim A.1-2 said...

1. I would vote for Celeste and try to get the amount of nicotine reduced because cigarettes cause many deaths. Tabaccoo companies don't do anything to change that.

Sarah H 1-2 said...

I have to say that I would vote for the tobacco companies because everyone should know the risks of consuming something before they consume it. By a person smoking cigarettes they know exactly what they are doing to their own body and the consequences of that decision.

Sara D. 7-8 said...

1) I would vote for the tobacco companies because everyone is smart enough to know the risks of tobacco. It was the man's choice to smoke it in the first place so he had to suffer the consequences, it wasn't the company's fault the the man chose to make a bad decision.

Anna W. 1-2 said...

1. If I were on the jury, I think I would have to vote in favor of the tobacco company. While I do not support their making in a product that only harms peoples health, I do believe each person is able to make a decision if they want to participate in buying and using tobacco. The all well informed about the dangers of using tobacco.

2. I would not take a bribe as a lawyer to get a vote.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded.