Study finding local jury disparity is released
The Abell Foundation released a long-anticipated study Friday comparing jury verdicts in Baltimore with those of three nearby counties. The report, by Shawn M. Flower of Choice Research Associates, found that jurors in the counties - Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard - are 30 times more likely than their city counterparts to convict a defendant of the most serious charge he or she faces. Flower studied jury outcome data from July 2005 to June 2006. In March, a draft of the study circulated to top Baltimore courthouse officials, including Administrative Judge Marcella A. Holland and State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, who both expressed concerns about the author's recommendation that a regional jury pool be studied as a way to eliminate jury disparity. Jessamy asked that the report be "shelved." Last month, The Baltimore Sun obtained and wrote about a draft of the report; the official report appears to reach similar conclusions and make similar recommendations to those in the draft.
'Body Worlds 2' exhibit drew 327,054 visitors
Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds 2, which set an attendance record for a traveling museum exhibit in Baltimore, drew 327,054 visitors during its seven-month run at the Maryland Science Center, according to the exhibitors. The show, which features dissected cadavers posed in various ways to show how the human body works, drew more than 12,000 visitors to the Science Center over the three-day Labor Day weekend, its final days in Baltimore. The center's previous attendance record was 120,000, for a 2005 exhibit of artifacts from the Titanic.
Film to be shown in honor of Sept. 11, global unity
In commemoration of Sept. 11 and the "11 Days of Global Unity" from Sept. 11 to 21, Baltimore Inspirational Films will show Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary film The 11th Hour at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Your Prescription for Health learning center at 10210 S. Dolfield Road, Owings Mills. The 11th Hour examines current catastrophes - such as drought, famine, flooding, acid rain and global warming - and the possibility of changing the course of world events. Global leaders, scientists, sustainable design experts and others discuss the issues facing the planet and our options. The $8 charge includes snacks; part of the proceeds will go to a conservation fund. Reservations are recommended by Sept. 12 at 410-581-9022.
Baltimore Sun staff reports
Pasadena-area fires deemed to be arson
A series of brush fires during the past two months in the Pasadena area have been classified as arsons, and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department is seeking the public's help in solving the crimes. Firefighters have responded to 15 brush fires in and around the 8600 block of Fort Smallwood Road, the department said. Community United Methodist Church and a county library are near the locations where the fires were set, officials said. Fire and police officials are working together on the cases. Anyone with information may contact investigators at 410-222-8477.
Baltimore Sun staff reports