Bring in the Jury

Who are they?

Eight females, Jurors #:  1, 6, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17

Four males, Jurors #:  4, 7, 18 and 19

Two alternates:  Female #2 and Male # 13


It’s been two days of deliberations:

9 hours, 45 minutes to be exact.

We don’t have a decision just yet.  But we did observe a few odd things in court today.  First, apparently juror # 2, who was picked to be an alternate, is pretty disappointed that she won’t get to deliberate.  Many people don’t know this, but alternates don’t usually know they are an alternate until the conclusion of a court case.  It can be a massive let down for someone who’s sat through months of testimony and really wants to have their vote.  So juror # 2 asked the Judge if she could swap with one of the deliberating jurors.  A highly unusual request.  Obviously, the Judge said no.

The next oddity?  One of the jurors brought a crockpot of food to court.  Another, a dessert dish.  I understand snacks, but a homemade feast seems a bit extravagant.  Nevertheless, a good pot of stew is the least these people deserve after being subjected to porn talk for the last four months.

And what is the last item worth mentioning from today?  Oh yes… there were llamas on the loose in Phoenix.  Two of them.  No, I’m not making this up.  As if this whole debacle couldn’t be any weirder, Phoenix police spent their day chasing escapee llamas.  So there you go… alternates, crockpots and llamas… but no verdict.

Court is dark on Fridays, as well as over the weekend, but the jurors have the option to request their own hours.  If they want to stay late or come in over the weekend, they can request that.  At the conclusion of today, they are still undecided.  So what did they choose to do?  Go home for the three day weekend.

Now, I realize that trying to guess what a jury’s going to do is about as futile as counting on your Power Ball ticket to pay this month’s rent.  But it’s still an interesting exercise to try to figure them out.  So what do I think it means that they’re taking a long weekend?

I think it means they’re divided.  Speaking from my own experience, when it finally comes time to deliberate, you cherish that time to talk and debate your opinions.  No matter how difficult it gets, and sometimes it can get very heated, most jurors still have the desire to keep working and come to a conclusion as quickly, and thoroughly, as possible.  I think it’s unusual that they want to take 3 days off.  In the middle of deliberations – 3 days is an eternity.  I would not want to break that momentum.

Is it possible that they are close to deciding, or have decided, and want the weekend to sleep on it?  Sure.  But I believe, not likely.  I think it’s normal to sleep on it for a night.  But not 3 nights.  Not when a family’s been waiting for a conclusion for 7 years.

Now, I absolutely get that this is an excruciating decision to make for them.  No matter how much we despise Jodi, and want justice in this case, she’s still a breathing human being and to be the one to decide that another human will stop breathing, is by far the hardest thing one could ever have to do.  So I don’t begrudge them whatever time they need.  I just think the 3 days are more indicative of a group that are divided and need time to cool down and/or clear their heads.

On the flip side, the fact that they didn’t wave the white flag at the end of today means they are digging in for the long haul.  At least for now.  Any jury that is still going, still trying to deliver a verdict, always has potential.

What do you guys think?



18 Replies to “Bring in the Jury”

  1. Hi, Lisa!

    I had no idea that you had been a juror. Someday, it would be great to hear all about your experience.

    You wrote, “Is it possible that they are close to deciding, or have decided, and want the weekend to sleep on it? Sure. But I believe, not likely. I think it’s normal to sleep on it for a night. But not 3 nights. Not when a family’s been waiting for a conclusion for 7 years.”

    Is that a conversation the jurors would have had?

    “Let’s come back, Monday.”
    “No, that’s too long. The family’s been waiting 7 years.”
    “If they’ve waited that many years, a couple more days won’t matter. I’m sure they’d rather wait and give us time to get it right.”
    “No, only one night, then we’ll come back and get it done.”
    “That wouldn’t be fair to the judge and court personnel. They’re tired and they have families they need to spend time with. I think we should come back on Monday.”
    “That was a GREAT casserole. Anyone willing to bake something for Monday morning to go with our coffee?”

    1. Hey Lulu,

      One of these days (soon) I’ll do a blog post on my own experience. It was in 2012, and I was the jury foreperson. It was quite an experience which obviously has had an impact on my life, and interests. Yes, jurors do discuss things such as timing, and the families. Pretty much everything gets discussed in that room. As far as what can be considered in terms of rendering your verdict, that’s a different story.

      But I’m sure as today was coming to a close they had a discussion about what they wanted to do. Some may have wanted to stay and work, some may have said I need a break. Or… they may be close and just wanted to sleep on it. Whatever that conversation was, I am 100% all for them taking whatever time they need. There is nothing worse than a jury rushing a decision just to get the hell out of there (OJ Simpson).

      But 3 days is a little troubling to me. First, they run the risk of somebody talking to somebody or doing something they shouldn’t. That’s the last thing you want! Second, as I mentioned, you lose momentum. You need to keep the conversation moving, not stall it. Just my two cents 🙂 It will be a long wait until Monday.

  2. I forgot. It sounds like you were in the courtroom.
    If you were, how long have you been there?
    Do you happen to live in Phoenix or did you travel in for the trial?

    1. No, unfortunately I didn’t make it to Phoenix. I live in SoCal. I’ve been following on Twitter and via Beth Karas’ site. I’m kicking myself for not making/having the time to get out there.

  3. Dont understand how people are complaining about the jurors taking their fridays off…Judge S and Arias’ antics have made this jury sit and go for over 6 months! alot of evidence was NOT shown to them…they need to sift through and this is a serious decision for them. They are entitled all the time they feel the need to come to a unanimous decision. We certainly dont want another hung jury do we?

    1. No, of course not. I don’t have an issue with them taking the time off. I’m just giving my opinion on what I think it means, and what I would want to do, personally, in that situation. As I mentioned in my post, and in my comments below, I’m all for them taking as long as they need. It would be a travesty to rush a decision.

  4. No, Lulu – you don’t need to read a blog post about it – Lisa didn’t you write about being a juror in AMERICAN TRAITOR. Also, I have to say, Lisa, you did a great job on this blog post. Interesting, funny, crazy and with your usual astute analysis. I think the longer this jury deliberate the better. There is probably a minority, one or two opposed, and they need to think about it and be less emotional about it.

    1. Thanks, Nick! Yes, I briefly included some of my personal thoughts/experience in American Traitor as it pertains to visual perception of defendants. Hope u check it out, Lulu. 🙂

  5. For some reason, I think they are decided, but just to make sure, they do want the weekend for it, however upsetting I think it is to the Alexander family, unfortunately. BTW, I voted she’d get LIFE, but I wanted a DP, just don’t think we’ll see that.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Becky. One thing’s for certain, whatever they are doing this weekend, there’s nothing else on their mind but this. I feel for them! A really horrible position to have to be in.

  6. I too voted life, though I think there’s a strong possibility it will be death. Mainly because Arias’ mitigating factors do not outweigh the aggravating circumstances. Is that something the jurors in this phase will consider due to the charge of 1st degree with cruelty and premeditation – and, will jurors be privy to records from Arias’ conviction trial?

    I actually voted life because of their choice for a 3 day break, a bit of a doubt inched in…but the strong possibility of death, I thought of that because in those 9 odd hours of deliberation, I could imagine the intensity after an initial vote to see where each stood.

    I don’t know who brought in the crock pot, but I viewed that as a palatable offering to a distasteful task that each would be under – a way of making sure there was some form of comfort in that gathering. What better way than by food!

    And one question Lisa – the foreperson, how are they chosen?

    1. Really great observation about the homemade food being a comfort. I’m sure they need every bit they can get.

      The foreperson is picked in the jury room by nominating/voting at the beginning of deliberations. There’s not a formal process. Each group likely does it a little different. But it must be done first, as that person guides everything.

      Typically on a long case, you’ve spent a lot of personal time together so you already have an idea who’s capable. Most (should) look for leadership experience, maturity, even-keeled, fair, not overly emotional, objective, authoritative. The foreperson’s opinions are no more important than anyone else’s so you don’t want a bully. That person just needs to keep the conversation organized & moving forward. They must manage the written & verbal communication between their room & the outside court. They complete all forms, make sure that everyone had a fair say. It’s no picnic. Kind of like herding elephants 🙂 But it’s such an important & rewarding experience too.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Keep them coming. Part 4 on the secret testimony will be ready soon.

      1. Thanks Lisa for your detailed explanation. Wondering now who the ‘Matriarch’ could be…there were several telling questions posed – perhaps someone with a professional background, say, in psychology? We shall see!

  7. You never know. This jury has been on this 4 day schedule for months. Some if them might have had to work over the three days or had other time commitments they could not change. Yes, it is excruciating for the Alexander family, but this group of people have given a lot. They have been in and out of the courtroom on the whim of the defense and I think they deserve a little more respect on their decision to not continue deliberations til Monday. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. They are people with lives, jobs, and families that have been impacted by this heinous crime too.

    1. I hear you, Chris. The intent of the post is to take a guess at what I think their decision may mean. It’s not to say that I disagree with their decision to take the weekend off. It’s really just jury analysis. I have tremendous respect for all jurors and the difficult decisions they are faced with.

      1. I know, you made that very clear. It was more a response to some of the other comments. Ty for your clear, interesting perspective.

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