CA vs. Spector – Inside the Minds of the Jurors
Posted by thedarwinexception on September 27, 2007
[Disclaimer: I have spoken to two separate jurors – one strictly in email and one by both email and phone – neither of whom is number 9 and neither of whom wants to be identified either by gender, ultimate conclusion as to guilt or innocence or juror number, so I shall not reveal this information. But some of my information comes from them. Their accounts were strikingly simialr, and strikingly similar to juror # 9 Ricardo Enriquez, who has spoken publicly.]
So we will have another trial – and in honor of Estron in AFCA, I shall say “There’s another 6 months of my life I shall never get back!” Just because I know he hates that phrase.
The trial should probably take place early next Spring, with an initial hearing on October 3rd for the District Attorney’s office to formally announce to the judge that they are going to go forward with the prosecution, although they have already announce publicly they will do so. Roger Rosen asked the judge for a 60 day delay for the initial hearing and status conference, but the judge set the date for next week.
Spector will continue to remain out of custody on his million dollar bond, but I fear his dancing in the driveway is a little premature. This is not a complete victory and retrials have the reputation of favoring the prosecution, although this defense team will get another shake up, since Phil has fired Bradley Brunon and Roger Rosen. Brunon, because he cross examined the 5 prior bad acts witnesses, whom the jury said at their press conference yesterday they ultimately believed, and Rosen because he cross examined Adriano DeSouza, whom the jurors also said they believed. So they are both gone. Linda Kenney Baden remains for now, but once Phil hears that the jurors didn’t like the fact that she was married to one of the experts, well, he’ll probably fire one of them, too. Since Spector expressed a deep affection for Linda Kenny Baden, it will probably be Michael Baden who has to hit the road, so there goes the whole “Aha” moment in a retrial.
John Taylor and Rod Lindblom also spoke briefly yesterday, mostly to just express their faith in the District Attorney’s office and to say that they supported the decision to retry. They also thanked the media for leaving the Clarkson’s alone and they said on behalf of Donna Clarkson and Lana’s family that they won’t rest until justice is done. The civil trial is now on the back burner, since they can’t proceed until the criminal case is resolved, mostly because they can’t put Spector on the stand in a civil trial while he has pending criminal charges. One hopes that after two criminal cases Spector has a little bit of money left for a civil judgment.
Three jurors spoke at a press conference yesterday afternoon – coincidentally, it was the same three jurors who lobbied to be the foreperson – numbers 9, 12 and 10. Number 10 was ultimately chosen in a secret ballot, and he was one of the holdouts for not guilty, along with number 1 (the one who refused to look at the pictures and who Rosen seemed eager to replace, by the way), who flip flopped and kept going back and forth between guilty and not guilty, ultimately determining that she was going to vote with the foreperson no matter what he decided, and switching back to not guilty when it was clear number 10 was not budging from his position. But at one point, the vote was 11-1 with only the foreperson holding out for not guilty. When asked to explain to the others exactly what the scenario was that he was following to reach his conclusions, he started with the fact that maybe DeSouza told Spector that he was going to go get help, and at that point the jury decided they were hopelessly deadlocked.
The jurors at the press conference said that it would have been helpful to have had the psychological profile at their disposal. A couple of the jurors said that it would have been a tool they could have used to convince the “holdouts” that Lana did not commit suicide, since the two holdouts kept bringing this fact back to the others as “reasonable doubt”. One juror expressed concern that number 10’s personal experience with his friend committing suicide was the reason for his strong conviction that this could have been a likely scenario.
The jurors said that they never believed the scenario that Spector was across the room when the gun went off. All of them, even the holdouts, believed that he was much closer to Lana when the gun was fired.
Juror number 9 – in the press conference, said that he was quite disappointed with the paid experts of the defense, and said that it was curious to him that Michael Baden was married to one of the lawyers and that it looked odd that while he was testifying she was gone, and then when he got off the stand, she was back. He said that he had seen Baden on HBO, but that he would now question expert testimony in cases.
The jurors at the press conference also said that they were not impressed with the long, tedious, boring CV’s of the defense experts (weren’t we all) and that Juror 9 as well as other jurors, said they were much more impressed with Lynne Herold, that she was down to Earth, friendly and didn’t have an axe to grind or a book to sell. More than one of the jurors said that they were less than impressed with the defense experts because they did not take Spector’s past history with women into account when reaching their conclusions. One thought that this made their entire opinion suspect and threw out all the defense experts opinions because of it. The entire juror decided that because of the conflicting forensic opinions, they would set this aside and see if they could reach a consensus without it. Although 10 (11 if you count the flip flopping of number 1), thought that there was still enough evidence *besides* the forensics to determine that Spector was guilty, but since the 1 (2 if you count the flip flopper) didn’t think this way, they were never going to reach a unanimous verdict. Juror number 1 actually lamented at one point “Gee, it’s too bad there wasn’t a video camera in the foyer!”
The five prior bad acts witnesses were important to the jurors and the guilty voters thought that Lana may have reacted differently to Spector than they did because Lana didn’t know Spector. They thought that she could have fought back, where the other women didn’t.
Inside the jury room, there was no marker throwing as there was in the Jeffs jury room, although #9 did say that he “threw the F bomb”. # 9 was pushing for a vote the first day, and the second day, but the foreperson was reluctant to take a vote. On the third day, # 9 said that if a vote wasn’t taken, that he was going to ring the buzzer and go to the judge with his concerns, reminiscent of the Scott Peterson jury, who ultimately overthrew their foreperson for not taking votes. When the foreperson acquiesced, the initial vote was 4 guilty, 5 not guilty and 3 undecided. Every subsequent vote had to be lobbied for, the foreperson was reluctant to do so without much coercion and threats of revolt. One juror mentioned that they were very intimidated by the two strong personalities of the foreperson and juror number 9, who were so diametrically opposed and seemed to clash frequently.
Some jurors seemed to believe outright the statement of DeSouza and did not question his ability to understand and interpret the statements he attributed to Spector. The foreperson (and later his follower number 1), wanted to hear the videotaped statement to police again to determine exactly what DeSouza had said to police the morning of the shooting. After listening to the tape again, they thought that this bolstered their claim that DeSouza may not have heard exactly what he thought he heard. They pointed to the fact that DeSouza said in the taped interview “My English is not so good”. Jurors 1, 10 & 11, the initial not guilty holdouts, had a problem with DeSouza’s stammering on the tape when explaining what Spector said and thought he may have added something to the phraseology. Although it is interesting to note that the foreperson actually spent time in Brazil and speaks fluent Portuguese.
Juror number 9 was asked his impression of Spector, and he said that he, like Lana, at first thought that Spector was a woman, it wasn’t until the judge introduced the defendant that he realized this man with the long tunics and shiny shirts was Phil Spector. Number 1 said that she was “creeped out” by the way Spector stared at her. One of the jurors I corresponded with said that they thought at first that Rachelle Spector was Phil’s daughter, and was confused when Nichole took the stand and said *she* was his daughter, since they couldn’t reconcile both women being related to Phil.
One of the jurors I corresponded with also said that they were ashamed to have been on this jury, that they would probably need a lot of time before they could speak openly and publicly, although they really would like the opportunity, because it was a large part of their life for such a long time, and there is a lot of frustration and stress that they have stored up. I hope that all the jurors are ultimately satisfied with their service, and content in the fact that they know they did the right thing and came to the only conclusion they could have under the existing laws and jury instructions. Because that is, finally, all we can expect of jurors.