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Unforgettable Juror Art

Deliberations collects juror art, as you may know — drawings and photographs made by real people on jury duty, gathered in what we cheerfully call the "American Gallery of Juror Art." The collection is meant to show both the light side of jury duty and also the often-missed depth and talent of many jurors. Much of the work is extraordinary.

A story like this, though, can't just go in the collection. You have to read the whole thing, but the short version is that artist Alberto Araoz, a 64-year-old Cuban immigrant, sat as a juror in a California murder trial where the victim was a four-year-old girl. When it was over, he went home and painted the little girl's portrait — beautifully. Six months after the trial, he gave the finished painting to her grieving grandparents.

I've been reading a lot of "jury duty" tweets on Twitter lately, and feeling a little discouraged at the frustration, boredom, and alienation that many people express. It was awfully good to see this article.

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