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Juror Deliberations

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

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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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