Picks and Pans Review: In the Jury Room

updated 08/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Tues.-Wed., Aug. 10-11, 10 p.m. ET)

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Like State v. in 2002, this ABC News series covers all facets of a criminal trial—from lawyers' preparations to courtroom testimony to jury deliberations. It's far more compelling than FOX's fictional The Jury.

The two-part premiere concerns Mark Ducic, a Cleveland-area man facing possible execution for double homicide. The prosecution's star witness is a shifty former drug user who furtively taped the defendant boasting of the crimes. Ducic's lawyer, a blunt ex-cop, portrays his client as a congenital liar. Divided and exhausted, the jurors struggle to reach the truth in the murky case.

The second trial (Aug. 17) involves the fatal beating of a 2-year-old girl, and jurors must assign responsibility to the mother or her abusive boyfriend. We share their frustration because guilt is so hard to measure.

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