Where Juror 17 Went Wrong



I got to thinking about this Juror 17 possible misconduct/stealth/whatever issue and this is an analogy that I came up with.

First off, they had one clear and simple decision–do the aggravators in this trial outweigh the mitigators (or vice versa)? I know not really simple but they weren’t there to decide the merits of the death penalty, if Jodi Arias deserved to die, etc. They were to weigh those factors side by side and say which side outweighs the other. It the mitigator list did not outweigh the aggravator list, the sentence they were to render was Death. Plain and simple. This juror, from all I’ve put together, seems to have refused to do that task. She went on “feelings”, what Jodi Arias looked like, “revenge” and other unrelated issues from the task at hand.

She was also not to consider whether Travis Alexander was a bad person and deserved to die. That was on neither list although what the defense primarily based their case on throughout hoping to get an errant juror to sway from their duty. And they did (unless there was something else nefarious going on which I’m entirely suspicious of personally–time will tell).

It’s like they were handed two bushels–one was apples, the other oranges. They were to make one decision only–which of these baskets has the freshest fruit. That would require going through each of the pieces of apples and oranges and determining their degree of freshness. Let’s take it a step further and say the oranges were just picked, juicy, fragrant and full of their orangey goodness. The apple bushel contained many which were bruised, rotting and full of worms although a few fresh ones were sprinkled in.

The group decides to take all the fruit out and line it up and look at each piece and see, overall, which ‘weighs out” as the freshest overall. They count, they turn them around in their hand, they smell them, they take the time to be clear on their determination even though at the outset it might seem obvious.

Then there is Juror 17 who refuses to look at any of the pieces of fruit with them. She stands back by herself saying she likes apples. She thinks apples get a bad rap generally so she’s on the side of apples. And she thinks the oranges get it too easy so apples, in any condition, are better than oranges. The rest of the group asks her to come and look at all the apples, show them why she thinks they are “better” or “more fresh” , convince them that the apple bushel is the freshest. They even beg her to make her case to them so they can understand her affinity for those apples.

She refuses to participate in this and says they are “attacking her” over her deep love and preference for apples. She feels that they are the freshest so in her mind, they will the bushel she votes for no matter what. She won’t even look at the oranges much less pick one up and smell it. In fact, she kind of resents the oranges for wanting to ‘win” as she feels pity for the apples thinking someone should champion for them so that’s what she’s going to do no matter what. Besides her brother once fell out of an orange tree and broke his arm so she’s never cared much for oranges since he had to go to the hospital over that.

She hangs up the entire judging firmly refusing to look at the fruit but determining based on her predetermined preferences that this is the way she’s going to vote.

Then she goes home, reaches in to her own fruit bowl and takes a smiling bite of a ripe juicy apple, looks back at it and sees the back end of a wiggling worm right in the center, chomped in half by her own teeth. She doesn’t even spit it out, because she thinks that somehow, some way she can still make a case for that apple while she prepares her law$uit against the worm.

The End.


16 thoughts on “Where Juror 17 Went Wrong

  1. Suzie

    I just don’t believe there wasn’t some revenge on her part. I do hope they find that perjured herself on her juror questionnaire and is prosecuted. After they all met with the judge she started “deliberating” to appease the group — a manipulator just like the killer.

  2. Suzanne

    Great perspective – this analogy would have been a great way to get things off the ground in the deliberation – there is a lengthy article in the Trial Diaries based on the foreman’s interview that also gives an insight on what when on ….but to simplify it like you did Cathy, could have been ground breaking. Thank you for your inspiring writing style (from the heart) and talent.

  3. Karen

    Awesome analogy. The defense thrives on the fact that often times (more thannot) the jury instructions are UNCLEAR AND CONFUSING. IMO, the Foreperson should have addressed the judge from the ‘confused’ angle/#17 not understanding the point of which side weighed more: aggregating or mitigating.
    Hmph, hard verdict to get over :/

  4. mo724

    This was an excellent presentation of the simple task for the jury. Unfortunately, I place responsibility on Juan for not making this clear throughout the trial. He talked poetic and a little confusing, and never ever simply stated what you stated above. Plus, he should have objected profusely with all the time spent on making Travis a bad guy. Totally irrelevant and the wrong question which had no part in the entire trial. I also blame JSS, for allowing all this, but she was just atrocious throughout, so this one part wasn’t anything special. But it is Juan’s job to bring it to a simple question and make the instructions simple. He did not. In fact, the foreman also started to stray from the central issue, even though he made the right conclusion in the end.

  5. Rose222

    Excellent post, KCL. I’m still trying to come to terms with the verdict and the post-verdict juror 17 drama. Your posts are a great help.

    Rose222 (I will be using my username from Websleuths since there seem to be a few ‘Roses’ posting here and it gets confusing–even for me! ) 🙂

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