Monday, December 24, 2007

Juror surrenders, I give up he cries

We suspect it happens, we joke about it as we wait for the verdict, i.e. they'll deliberate , go to lunch on the county, then come back with a verdict. We voir dire on it, both sides, follow the evidence only, hold your opinion, do not be pressured into an acquittal or pressured into a conviction.

Well, now we know I guess, and depending on the law in New York, perhaps a point of error on appeal. Although I would think it unlikely.

Of course the guy juror who said he surrendered has a French name, Francois Larche, why does this not surprise me as well? BTW how did the Judge pressure him? or was it because he thought Kahn was a German name?
All kidding aside I think we ask and expect a lot from our jurors.

Juror: Judge and jury pressured me to convict man

RIVERHEAD, New York (AP) -- A juror who helped convict a black man of fatally shooting a white teenager said he felt pressured by other jurors and the judge to change his vote to guilty during a marathon deliberating session.

The Cicciaro family after John White was found guilty in the death of Daniel Cicciaro.

The jury convicted John White of second-degree manslaughter Saturday in the August 2006 shooting of 17-year-old Daniel Cicciaro Jr.

White, 54, remains free on bail and plans to appeal. He faces a prison term of five to 15 years.
The case drew national attention after defense attorneys argued that he feared a "lynch mob" had come to attack his family when a group of angry white teenagers gathered outside his home.

The teens wanted to confront White's son.

Juror Francois Larche, who is white, said he and another juror changed their votes after enduring "a lot of psychological tactics" from fellow jurors during an unusual weekend session ordered by the judge over jurors' protests.

"It was a huge burden to bear," Larche, 46, told the New York Post in Monday's editions. He added, "I took a lot of heat."

Jury forewoman Maureen Steigerwald denied that the judge, a 12-hour deliberating session on Saturday -- the fourth day of deliberations -- or the holidays played a role in the jury's decision.
"The jury did a very careful, conscientious deliberate job," she told Newsday in Monday's editions.

Judge Barbara Kahn said the jury would have to return on Sunday if they didn't reach a decision. Larche told the Post the judge told them a mistrial would burden the families and the next jury.

"I thought about my family and the families of the other jurors," Larche said. "It was not worth it in the end."