Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can't prove innocence or guilt!

Here is a link to another juror interview, Jennifer Ford, Juror #3, and the basic message Ford leaves is "How can you punish someone if you don't know what they did?"  She said repeatedly that she didn't know that Casey was innocent, but the State did not prove she was guilty, and whatever bad behavior Casey exhibited, it is not evidence of guilt.  Ford also said that George did not help the State's case, and at one point she said he was dishonest.

Nancy Grace predicted that if any jurors speak out, they will do so only in delicately placed situations and will be given only soft-ball questions.  No they haven't been the kind of hateful pounding-on-the-table drills that drive people to suicide, so maybe that is what Grace meant by soft-ball questions.

I really feel for jurors in these high profile cases where they don't have solid evidence one way or another -- they truly can't determine if the person is guilty or innocent.  But in these situations, the Law and moral justice demands that they acquit.  For doing that, this jury has my utmost respect.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Caylee's Law

Several states are attempting to pass versions of "Caylee's Law," which makes it a felony to not report the disappearance or death of a child.  On the surface, the claim is to protect children and to better enable law enforcement to find a missing child and/or determine cause of death.  In reality, it's an attempt to punish someone a jury has acquitted.

If Scott Peterson had been acquitted, I imagine there would have been a move to make going fishing on Christmas Eve a felony, or leaving a 7 1/2 month pregnant wife home alone to take care of herself.  Or perhaps it should be a felony not to advise the in-laws when you buy a boat.  And of course, why not make adultery a felony?  I'm sure those are some of the reactions that would have resulted from the public condemnation of an acquittal.  As it was, we did get Conner's law, which was a totally unnecessary law in Conner's case but it did make politicians feel like they were doing something useful.

I'll not be surprised if someone suggests professional juries made up of people like Nancy Grace who know how to put circumstantial evidence together, no matter how irrelevant it is, to get that conviction.  I'm sure she'd readily accept an appointment as Secretary of Juries, with her cabinet-level agency responsible for appointing jurors who now how to understand evidence.  No more idiots who think the earth is flat serving on juries anywhere in America.  No sirree.

But I think what the American public wants is to simply do away with the trial -- after all, if the cops say the person is guilty, who are we to doubt?  We'd only need Judges to rubber-stamp warrants and subpoenas -- the cops can do all the rest.  Or maybe we'd still require them to have a DA sign off on their conclusion; after all, that would be a lot of layoffs, with all those defense attorneys being put out of work to add all the DA's to the unemployment numbers might not be a good idea getting this close to the election.

And no appeals.  God forbid anyone question the conclusion of a cop confirmed by a DA.  Besides, without appeals, no one would ever know they made a mistake.  No mistakes -- that would certainly promote faith in our justice system.

So, let's revise the system by totally doing away with not only juries but all trials, defense attorneys (such a bunch of scumbags, anyway), and appeals.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Anthony Jury Foreman speaks about suspicions of George

I had the same reaction when I watched George on the witness stand -- he just wasn't credible to me.  I don't know what his involvement was, or if his demeanor was caused by something totally unrelated to Caylee's death, but he definitely sent out some bad vibes.

Greta's interview with the Jury foreman

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Peterson jurors react to the Anthony verdict

Not surprisingly,  a few of the Peterson jurors have a lot to say about the Anthony verdict, none of it complimentary to the Anthony jury.  A current ModBee article also has this statement:  "He and others were surprised that Anthony jurors deliberated less than 12 hours after a six-week trial. Sequestered Peterson jurors reviewed five months of courtroom notes, argued and spit out two jurors replaced by alternates before proclaiming him guilty nine days after huddling behind closed doors, with 31 hours of actual deliberation."  The "he" referred to in the quote is John Guinasso.

The Peterson jury was behind closed doors for 31 hours, but by law and the Judge's instructions, their deliberations were supposed to start all over again after the replacement of Juror #5 on November 10.  According to the times given in the Court minutes, that jury only spent 14 1/2 hours total in deliberation.  That was for a 6 month trial.  The Anthony trial only lasted 6 weeks.

November 10
10:33 a.m., Juror #5 is replaced, and new jury begins deliberations.
11:40-12:40, lunch break
4:00 p.m., jury retired for the day
4 1/2 hours deliberation

November 11
Assume deliberations start at 8:00 a.m, 1 hour for lunch, and deliberations stop at 4:00 p.m.
7 hours deliberation
CORRECTION:  this was a holiday -- no deliberations

November 12
Assume deliberations start at 8:00 a.m.
10:53 a.m, Jury asked for verdict forms, indicating verdict had been reached
Less than 3 hours deliberation

Grand total: 4 1/2 + 7 + 3 = 14 1/2 hours  
CORRECTION:  grand total 7 1/2 hours deliberation

12 hours deliberation for a 6-week trial.
7 1/2 hours deliberation for a 6-month trial.

"This is an O.J.," said Mike Belmessieri, referring to another headline trial ending in acquittal. "I don't want to beat this jury up. But they're going to be forever known as the jury that made the wrong decision."

Mr. Belmessieri ought to be more concerned about his own reputation and the reputation of his fellow jurors once the truth about what happened to Laci Peterson is revealed.

Thanks to Jane's comment for catching this error.