Mikey's Reviews > The Runaway Jury

The Runaway Jury by John Grisham
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's review
Apr 07, 11

Read from April 02 to 06, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Obviously, I read the book long after it came out and after I had seen the movie, so there was no element of surprise in the plot. The main characters, first had deliberately infiltrated the jury box and had conspired to influence the outcome of a huge civil lawsuit. The main "twist" or "mystery" was that secretly they had a past that made them biased against the defense. Although, what the actual case was about was different in the book then in the movie, that aspect remained the same. Without suspense, knowing all along what few of the characters in the book would know, I still looked forward to how exactly Fitch would find out. Of course, I also did not know exactly what it was that influenced the female character Marlee, to take this course of action but that for me did not lead to an interesting revelation. Overall, it was an easy read.
As far as the debate raised by the author, by way of the case itself, neither side was convincing, nor made one sympathetic to their “cause”. Both were corrupt and willing to pay (or blackmail) any outside connection to any juror to try to influence the ultimate outcome. Of course, the defense went to greater extremes and schemes that are more sophisticated in this regard. Presumably because they had a larger fund and more to lose if a verdict ever went against them. Nevertheless, I personally could never give a dime to anyone bringing a frivolous lawsuit such as this, wasting both time and money not everybody can so easily afford. I do not care how corrupt the companies are. If one smokes and has or develops bad health and first blames it on the smoking then blames someone else for the fact that they smoked, they are an idiot and deserve nothing. The families of the idiot definitely deserve nothing. I can think of two exceptions: One, the company is physically forcing them to smoke. (I am not satisfied with the vague notion of “addiction” as an excuse to blame someone else) Two, if it was sold under the pretense of being a medicine that definitely contributes to a long and healthy life. People disregard the possible consequences of all sorts of things, but they do not think smoking is necessarily healthy. There is no hero in the story. It is not like Easter and Marlee’s grand scheme exposes the corruption that ruins the purpose of our court system to seek “liberty and justice” for all, which I could see as being legitimate. Instead, the main characters simply use the corruption to their own advantage. There is a hint at in the end that they could use the proof of wire transfer to unveil some of the corruption but no real indication that they would or that this was the main goal of the whole plot.

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04/03/2011 page 148
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