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Free Al Capone!

I served on the jury Tuesday in a reenanctment of Al Capone's 1930 Miami perjury trial. The charges against him stemmed from a false-imprisonment charge he filed against Miami police after they arrested him four time in two weeks "for investigation," which was what the cops called it in those days when they wanted to lock you up but didn't really have anything to charge you with.

After listening to the testimony, I had no doubt Capone was innocent of perjury, but I expected a fight in the jury room. To my surprise, the first vote was 11-1 for acquittal, with the lone holdout a young student at a law-enforcement academy. "He just seems like a bad guy," she explained. The rest of us didn't disagree, but we didn't see any evidence of perjury,  and after just a few moments of discussion the other juror changed her vote. Capone left court a free man. But my vote for him, as you know if you watch HBO's Boardwalk, doesn't seem to have softened his attitude toward reporters.


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