There is an interesting article or series of articles in the LA Times about twice convicted pedophile, Sidney Landau who is currently fighting to be released from the state mental hospital. Although Landau completed his original sentence, the DA petitioned the court to keep Landau incarcerated. In 2006, a jury voted 11-1 to release Landau. However, since the verdict was not unanimous a mistrial was declared. Last month, another jury voted 8-4 against Landau's release. A third trial is scheduled for March 17th.
In the article, the jury foreman of the most recently completed trial states that lay jurors like himself should not be used to determine whether a pedophile is ready to return to society. Instead, he urges using a panel consisting of trained professionals familiar with rehabilitation and pedophiles (the jury foreman has approached his CA Assemblyman about the idea). This raises a very interesting question about when, if ever, professional jurors should be relied upon. The author of the LA Times article suggests employing them in situations like Landau's when after several attempts jurors are unable to reach a unanimous conclusion. Although I believe the Constitution would prevent such use, I am interested in hearing what others think of this idea.