Juries never see cases the way lawyers do. No matter how simple the case or how obvious the issue, the only thing guaranteed after a jury trial is surprise when jurors dismiss the issues framed by the lawyers and explain how an aside by a witness or a piece of the foundational evidence revealed the case to them.

Take a look at the Geoffrey Fieger acquittal. An experienced and well-respected criminal defense attorney, with an extraordinary track record, at the very end of his career, looked facts of a campaign finance case and made selective prosecution his theme.

The jury didn’t care. They felt there was little evidence of political motivation behind the prosecutions. But they still acquitted, because there was no evidence of criminal intent.

It seems the pornography / criminal obscenity trial in Florida may go the same way — who could have guessed the jury would get caught up in the meanings of "morbid and degraded," "unhealthy interest in sex," and "candid interest in sex?" Most lawyers, including the defendant’s, would have presumed that every juror thought the materials personally repulsive yet potentially permissible as free speech.

How would you feel, as a prosecutor or defender, if you heard the jury ask about a "unhealthy" versus "candid" interest in sex and you spent your whole closing on free speech?

Cover the waterfront. Give the jury the tools they need for any plausible argument, not just the one you think is important.