The jury is in, but are they really out?
Have you ever wondered what jurors discussed while behind closed doors? Do they take the case seriously or are they just ready to go home after a weeks of endless back and forth between attorneys. Recently, a criminal case was presented to jurors about a man who had killed his wife in his sleep. The story gripped the seaside town and had to be moved to a different county to ensure a more fair trial. During the trial, the defense asserted the defendant, who was visibly distraught all through the trial, was suffering from parasomnia – a sleeping disorder that includes sleepwalking and night terrors.
The prosecution presented the 911 confession from the defendant when he called for an ambulance, but not much else. The couple was retired, had no money troubles, seemingly happy with plans to go on a Hawaiian trip the following week. The job for the jury was to decide if the husband had planned and carried out this murder – 1st Degree or a tragic accident – Manslaughter or acquit him altogether. In an effort to understand people’s ability to work together when the stakes are high, seven of the twelve jurors agreed to participate in a study about their time deliberating. Here is a summary of what the jury talked about.
Juror #1 – Female 62
I learned a long time ago that according to Freud, dreams are the way the unconscious carries out what the heart wants. He wanted his wife dead. Plus he had the eyes of a killer. He’s guilty.
Juror #3 – Male 24
We got the case right at noon. To be honest, all I cared about at that moment was my sandwich. I had ordered roast beef on rye and didn’t know where it was. This guy had been dealing with his cockamamie story about knocking off his wife in his sleep for a year and a half, what’s a few more minutes while I eat?
Juror #4 – Male 53
I felt I should be the foreman, but for some reason these bozos elected some woman who claimed to be a professor of law at the local community college. Give me a break, she’s the last person we need injecting her liberal thoughts into the deliberations. When we took the straw poll, I voted opposite her.
Juror #6 – Female 19
I’m so excited. This is my very first time serving as a juror. I want to go over every bit of evidence, listen to the 911 tape again, and read through the expert’s testimony. If I’m going to put someone away for life, I want to feel good about it.
Juror #7 – Female 29
First of all, juror #6 was getting on my last nerve. Okay. And does she even own a full length mirror? Let’s just say some of the men were paying more attention to her legs and cleavage than the testimony. And she wanted to talk about Every. Single. Detail. Because of that bitch, we were sequestered overnight. I would have voted any which way to get out of there.
Juror #9 – Male 80
From day one I thought the husband was guilty. He did it. End of story. But I was enjoying the time away from my crazy daughter’s house with her bratty kids and didn’t want it to end. When I learned we might stay the night in a motel because of the shikse girl juror, I changed my vote to undecided. Finally, a good night’s sleep!
Juror #11 – Male 35
I am surrounded by stupid people. It’s so obvious the guy didn’t mean to kill his wife. Hey, accidents happen. If an accident happened to my wife, like if she fell out our speedboat or fell off a cliff while hiking, I’d want people to believe me. But these people kept getting hung up on the husband’s “confession.” The fact is, people say crazy things under stress.
The study concluded that generally people care more about themselves than someone who could potentially lose their right to freedom. A mistrial was eventually declared.