Steve Conn has conducted more felony jury trials than Babe Ruth hit home runs. Conn logged 88 felony jury trials as a prosecutor long ago and he is currently conducting his 644th felony jury trial in his more than three decades as a Mohave County Superior Court judge.
“I’ll have to admit I love trying cases,” Conn said. “I love doing jury trials. I love interacting with jurors. I just love the process.”
Conn said the right to a trial by peers is fundamental to the American Justice system. He said he respects the dynamics, though he doesn’t always concur with the verdict outcomes.
“I think jurors do an incredible job on cases,” Cnn said. “People come in who don’t have any experience, sit through days of testimony to make a decision. Often times they don’t make a decision that I would have made but that’s the beauty of the system and that’s why it’s important to have the rights to have a trial by citizens of the community rather than having a trial by maybe some hardened, cynical judge whose going to be less likely to look at the human aspect of a case.”
An upcoming birthday and an Arizona law requiring superior court judges to retire at the age of 70 will see Conn leave the bench on June 30.