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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Portland's "Experimental" Woman Jury Part XI: Oregonian Claims Facing a Woman Jury is Deterrent to Crime

As part of its coverage of the December 4, 1912 all-female jury I've been blogging here, the Oregonian printed this accompanying article suggesting that a "woman jury in Municipal Court" was a deterrent to lawbreaking. Whether the story was true or not it contributed to the debate going on in the city about the impact of this "experimental jury."

Captain Brown of the U.S. Steamer Leelenau had docked at the Irving dock at the foot of Dupont Street in Portland with improper lighting and unsafe gangplanks. The patrolman on duty told him he would have to comply with regulations or face arrest and fines.

"From his berth, whither he had retired early, Captain Brown commended the parolman to a 'warm climate.'"

"'They have a woman jury in Municipal Court,'" the patrolman told him, "'and you will have to face that.' Instantly," the Oregonian reported, "the captain raised his hand to his whistle and the watchman came running." He ordered repairs to be made. "'I won't face a woman jury in any court,'" the captain said, '''and me 60 years old.'"

"Woman Jury Has Effect," Oregonian, December 5, 1912, 12.