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.