The Jury Is In – But Are They Still Out?
Have you ever wondered what jurors talk about behind closed doors? Do they take the case seriously or are they ready to cast their vote and go home five minutes later? In an effort to understand people’s ability to work together when the stakes are high, scientists studied the justice system and learned “exciting” news in jury deliberation. The question was: does moving a trial to another county make a difference.
Researchers studied a small town criminal case involving a man who killed his wife “while sleeping.” The story gripped the small, seaside town and had to be moved to a nearby 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, and were seemingly happy with plans to go on a Hawaiian vacation the following week. The task for the jury was to decide if the husband had planned this murder, if this was an accident, or acquit him altogether.
Here is a summary of what the jury discussed while considering the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
Juror #1 – Female 62
I learned a long time ago, while studying Sigmund Freud, dreams are the minds way to carry out what the heart wants. He obviously wanted his wife dead. That, and he has the eyes of a killer.
Juror #2 – Male 36
Seriously. Why are we even having a trial? Couldn’t they offer this schmuck a plea deal? I am losing my ass sitting here day after day. Do they know how a stockbroker makes money? Not by sitting on a jury. The good news is, I’ve started a pool on the verdict.
Juror #3 – Male 24
When we got the case at noon, my first question was, when will lunch being served? My second question was, what will it be? I mean, I can’t be expected to make big decisions on an empty stomach.
Juror #4 –Female 50
This guy reminds me of my ex-husband. So obviously I’m going to throw the book at him.
Juror #5 – Male 53
I should have been the foreman, but for some reason these idiots elected some woman who claimed she used 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 views from. Whatever she’s voting, I’m voting the opposite.
Juror #6 – Female 19
I’m so excited! This is my very first time serving as a juror. I can’t wait to go over every piece of evidence, listen to the 911 tape again and again, read through the expert’s testimony, and consult my detailed notes frequently. If I’m going to put someone away for life, I want to feel good about it.
Juror #7 – Female 30
First of all, Juror #6 is getting on my last nerve. She wants to discuss Every. Little. Thing. And does she even own a full length mirror? Let’s just say, stripes are not her friend.
Juror #8 – Male 35
I am surrounded by stupid people. It’s so obvious this guy didn’t mean to kill his wife. Accidents happen. And if an accident happened to my wife, like say she fell out our speedboat or fell off a cliff while we were hiking, I’d want people to believe me, too. But these people keep getting hung up on the husband’s “confession.”
Juror #9 – Female 39
I hate to admit this, but I don’t care if he did it. Does that make me a bad person? I tried to care, but then I realized, he was probably just going to divorce her anyway and marry someone younger and start a whole new family while neglecting his four kids, alimony and child support. Maybe death was the kind thing.
Juror #10 – Male 74
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-in-law. Sheesh. Too bad she was married to this guy. Anyway, when I learned we might have to stay overnight in a motel if we didn’t decide soon, I changed my vote to undecided. Finally! A good night’s rest.
Juror #11 – Female 61
I feel sorry for this guy. He won’t stop crying. And don’t get me wrong, he did it, but I’m thinking of voting innocent. If it were my son I’d want someone else to vote that way. And I’m pretty sure he won’t do it again.
Juror #12 – Male 43
Hey I was wondering, do you know Juror #6? Is there a way I can get her number?
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.
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