The Runaway Jury
Uploaded by milesthemole on Oct 21, 2001
Normally the lawyers give their arguments and then the jury go and deliberate but not so in John Grisham’s thriller “The Runaway Jury”. In this book one mysterious girl, known only as Marlee, is controlling the whole jury from the outside. Her background is obscure and if they knew it they wouldn’t trust her. Which way will she turn, for the plaintiff and send tobacco companies worldwide into a crisis, or for the defence and stop all litigation cases for a generation?
Her accomplice Nicholas Easter, is introduced as a mystifying potential juror. “The problem with Easter, potential juror number fifty-six, was that they knew so little about him.” From this, we deduce that Easter will be the thriller aspect which Grisham is known to use throughout his novels.
His not-yet known enemy Rankin Fitch, the defence’s background man, is the next character brought to our attention. After showing the change in attitude as he walks in the door: “Carl stopped. The lawyers bolted upright in their seats” Grisham uses the short paragraph “Fitch was back. Fitch was in the room” to show us how powerful and respected this man is.
Easter also starts to gain respect and portray his image as the ideal jury leader through making known that he was an ex-law student and by trying to gain them extra amenities. One of the stranger things he wanted was to perform the Pledge of Allegiance every week as they walked into the courtroom.
Mystery seems to be cropping up all over as Marlee, the mysterious girl, shows up with the note: “Dear Mr. Fitch: Tomorrow, juror number two, Easter, will wear a grey pullover golf shirt with red trim, starched khakis, white socks and brown leather shoes, lace-up” There is more to this woman than is first thought.
She then arranges a meeting with Fitch, at which she conveys what she’s really doing:
“ ‘So why are we here?’ he asked.
‘One meeting leads to another.’
‘And where do all the meetings lead?’
‘To the verdict.’ ”
Grisham is quite aware that both sides in trials bribe jurors but Marlee has been introduced to keep the reader captivated, as it is quite unusual for an outsider to volunteer to do the dirty work, for a price.
“the price of Pynex shares dipped … attributed to the dramatic events in the courtroom”. This shows that Easter’s seemingly senseless demands and goings on in the courtroom were actually doing something...