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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Marilyn Church. The Robert Chambers trial jury listening to a court reporter reading the transcript of the trial, March 1988. Watercolor and porous point pen over graphite underdrawing on white paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (032.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51010 © Marilyn Church
Gift of the family of Marilyn Church

Jury Troubled During Robert Chambers Trial

Nicknamed the "Preppy Killer," even though his mother, a private-duty nurse worked extra shifts to send him to the best private schools, Robert Chambers choked Jennifer Levin to death in Central Park on August 26, 1986. During the course of deliberations, the jury returned to the courtroom several times to hear the court reporter re-read points of testimony to aid in their decision. On March 26, 1988, fearful of a mistrial, the prosecuting attorney, Linda Fairstein, called for a lesser charge, to which Chambers agreed. He committed enough infractions in prison to serve his entire fifteen-year sentence until his release in 2003. He is back in prison serving a nineteen-year sentence on an unrelated drug charge.