Before anyone knew where the jury was headed in the Spector trial, there were media reports that the foreman was an engineer who had taken copious notes. Mrs. P. said to me: “That’s not good. That’s just not good.”
Turns out she was right:
The foreman, a 32-year-old civil engineer who also spoke, declined to give his name or state how he voted. But [Juror Ricardo] Enriquez and several attorneys later said the man was one of the defense holdouts.
That Mrs. P. is pretty sharp.
(There are some office rumors relevant to all this, but I can’t repeat those.)
I’m listening to KFI right now, and John and Ken are playing an interview Ashleigh Banfield did with the foreman. (KFI is reporting his name, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to repeat it in this post, and I ask commenters to follow my example.)
Apparently he was not only one of the holdouts, but he was also the most adamant holdout:
Enriquez, in a later interview with The Times, said the foreman and a 37-year-old woman who works as an assistant for the L.A. County Superior Court had voted not guilty. Enriquez said the 37-year-old woman said she did not think the testimony of five women that Spector had threatened them with guns matched the circumstances of the Clarkson shooting. “She couldn’t put the gun” in Spector’s hand, Enriquez said in describing the juror’s thinking.
He said that Wednesday morning the woman offered to vote for a conviction “under protest” but that other jurors told her she should only vote her true belief.
The other jurors are right: each juror should vote his or her conscience, and should not vote just to go along with the rest. That said, this juror sounds far less adamant than the foreman. One wonders whether she might not have allowed herself to be convinced, if she had had no allies.
I think we have a very realistic shot next time around.
UPDATE: I don’t mean to slam all engineers in this post. As I explain below in the comments, my neighbor Jeff C. is an engineer — and I’d take him on a jury before I took any of the rest of you. He just exudes common sense.
Individuals mean more than stereotypes in jury selection — but when you don’t have a lot to go on, stereotypes about professions can be better than nothing. (E.g. it is unlikely that I would ever leave a journalist on a jury. But again, the right person could convince me otherwise. For example, the Dateline NBC guy on the Spector jury was apparently a very good juror, from what I’ve seen.)