The jurors who gathered last week to consider the federal government's theft and perjury case against Robert L. Green speedily agreed on three things: The charges were petty; the lead witness was questionable, and Green didn't seem like the kind of guy who would lie.

Having settled that, it was easy for the jury to acquit the former president of the University of the District of Columbia of charges that he had stolen a city-owned television set and stereo and then lied about his actions to a federal grand jury. They debated only one of the seven charges and pronounced Green not guilty on all counts in less than three hours. Some even congratulated the educator with hugs.

Interpretations of the verdict, however, have not been unanimous. Former and current prosecutors see it as a sign of how difficult it is to prosecute public officials for minor criminal activity -- especially without a pattern of alleged offenses.

Criminal defense attorneys say it suggests previous defendants in D.C. public corruption cases, such as former deputy mayor Alphonse G. Hill, may have miscalculated by pleading guilty because the juries might have been more sympathetic than they expected. Some officials of Mayor Marion Barry's administration say the Green case shows that U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova, who will leave office March 1, would indict the mayor's associates for almost anything.

One juror, who spoke on condition that she not be identified by name, said she came away from the two-week Green trial thinking the prosecutors were hoodwinked by Barry administration officials who wanted to deflect an investigation of the mayor's official accounts.

"It seemed like Green was thrown to them -- trying to give them a little something to get them off his {the mayor's} back," said the juror, a 26-year-old hotel worker. "It seemed like they decided among themselves to put it on him."

That was exactly the impression that Green's attorneys, R. Kenneth Mundy and Karen McDonald, hoped to create. They were helped by several facts that the jurors believed undermined the credibility of mayoral aide Dwight S. Cropp, the key witness presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Bernstein.

Cropp testified that he used funds from the mayor's office to pay for the $1,399 stereo and $1,994 wide-screen television in 1983, believing that the money would be reimbursed from UDC and the items would belong to the official residence of the UDC president.

But Cropp acknowledged that he didn't know whether the Office of the Secretary under the mayor was reimbursed or what happened to records on the expenditures. Mundy, in an attempt to paint Cropp as "the artful dodger," drew out the fact that Cropp destroyed other account records.

"You are in charge of a fund, and you never ask for the money back," the hotel worker said. "He was in charge of these papers, and first he tears them up and then when he needs to keep them, he loses them. He just wasn't credible."

Green, who has been an expert witness in desegregation cases and is practiced in the courtroom, seemed more believable to the jurors. The judge criticized Green for giving rambling answers, interrupting the prosecutor and arguing with the judge over her rulings from the stand. But the jury apparently forgave him, figuring he was simply anxious to prove his innocence.

"A man who is guilty would try not to say too much," the hotel worker concluded.

In the end, the hotel worker decided it was the U.S. attorney's office that went overboard. "To spend all that money to try and get something about a stereo and a television set -- I don't think money should have been spent like that," she said. "They could have told him either to pay for it or return it." Rolark on DNC Rules Panel

D.C. Council member Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8) is among 16 black politicians appointed by Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul Kirk to standing committees for the party's national convention in Atlanta in July.

Rolark and David Claxton of the District were appointed to the Rules Committee.

Kirk, who has run into criticism for his deemphasis of special caucuses within the party, said the minority officials who were chosen represent the diversity and talent of blacks within the party.

Each of the party's three standing convention committees -- rules, credentials and platform -- includes 25 persons selected by Kirk and the DNC executive committee and 161 members selected at the state party level.

Shirley Robinson Hall and Velma Hill, both DNC members from the District, were appointed by Kirk to the Credentials Committee and William Lucy, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was named to the convention's Platform Committee. Provocation?

Last week, Georgetown community leader Juan Cameron was shot in the leg in an apparent hold-up attempt as he was on his way to a neighborhood meeting at which crime was one of the topics. He was hospitalized and police eventually arrested two men in connection with the assault.

Two days later, Mayor Marion Barry called Cameron at Georgetown University Hospital telling him he was sorry to hear about Cameron's "accident."

"I told him it was no accident," Cameron said last week. "Then I told him what happened."

"The mayor then asked me, 'Was there any provocation?' " Cameron said. "I was outraged at the question. In other words, he was asking me if it was my fault."

"I told him, 'None at all, Mr. Mayor.'

"It is absurd to think that I, a man in his sixties, would take on three young men at night on the street," he said. "Here I am in pain and facing a lot of bills and then the mayor asks me a question like that."

Barry's press secretary, John C. White, confirmed the call to Cameron by the mayor but said Barry did not recall asking a question about who provoked the incident.

"And if he did ask that question, he did not mean to infer that Cameron had done anything wrong," White said.

Staff writers Tom Sherwood, Linda Wheeler and Nancy Lewis contributed to this report.