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Juror Deliberations

Legal experts weigh in on the Tyco trial’s infamous obstructionist, Juror No. 4.


What do you think about Juror No. 4?
Raoul Felder, divorce lawyer and former federal prosecutor: She should not have been on the jury in the first place. Someone didn’t do their homework.
Benjamin Brafman, defense attorney: This is unprecedented, to have a juror not only identified but also to know her alleged position.
Nancy Grace, Court TV anchor: There’s nothing the judge can do. I can’t tell you how crushing this is.
Floyd Abrams, First Amendment lawyer: She’s a committed, independent sort.

What’s the effect of her being named in the press?
Felder: We’ve made her an instant celebrity and a media star, a dimension that has no place in the courtroom, at least for a juror. She’ll probably go right on 60 Minutes.
Grace: I think it is an outright shame. Who’s going to sit on a jury in the future when they are afraid of being named? This is going to chill the jury-selection process.
Abrams: I think she’d be just as likely to deliver a fair verdict after being named as before.

Is it possible to have total control over selecting a jury?
Felder: This juror was so idiosyncratic, it should’ve come out.
Brafman: I don’t care how good you are and how many jury consultants you have. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and picking a jury is essentially an educated crapshoot.
Grace: Absolutely not. You will never really know who’s on your jury. Look at what can happen. You’ve got Martha Stewart with one foot in a jail cell, and you’ve got Dennis Kozlowski, who allegedly stole $600 million from regular people, and he’s laughing all the way uptown.
Abrams: Most of the time, lawyers try to avoid awful jurors rather than select great ones. You don’t have time to choose a perfect jury. All you can do is try to prevent picking people who are hopeless.

What should you do with a maverick juror?
Felder: The only thing you can do is play for her. Put your head in her head. She’s a wild card, and you have to try to think the way she’s thinking.
Brafman: Sometimes you need a maverick juror to get by the terribly prejudicial publicity that surrounds a case like this.
Grace: Have the judge give the dynamite charge and really put the pressure on. Or you can starve them into an answer. I once had a jury deliberating until midnight, and it was only the promise of a pizza delivery that got them out of there.
Abrams: Pray.


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