By now the Anand Jon trial’s jurors know the quickest way to Department 102 on the ninth floor is to take the express elevators up from the lobby to the 12th floor and then catch a car down to the ninth. Today the foreman of the fashion designer’s jury did just that, along with another juror and one alternate. They all knew they were headed to controversy. Last Thursday, on the fourth day of deliberations, the foreman (Juror No. 11), handed Judge David Wesley a note announcing that turmoil had erupted in the jury room.
“We can no longer deliberate with Juror No. 12,” the note said. “He does not understand ‘reasonable doubt' . . . and does not listen to the evidence.”
The prosecution, sensing a potential pro-acquittal hold-out, asked Wesley to dismiss No. 12 and replace the man with an alternate. The defense team, no doubted also smelling a hung jury, adamantly opposed No. 12’s removal.
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After Wesley questioned each juror, it became clear that No. 12 early on announced that he had arrived at conclusions about the testimony of each of the trial’s witnesses and would not be swayed by discussion. Finally, No. 12 himself was summoned and, like his colleagues, was questioned about his jury room behavior – while asked not to comment on specifics about deliberations.
“Due to my opinions,” said No. 12, “my other jurors have shown high emotions to my verdict and are extremely angry at me. I feel I’m being pressured to give a verdict I don’t want to give.”
Since the man said he was willing to continue discussing the case with fellow jurors, Wesley then sent No. 12 and the other 11 jurors back to their deliberations.
“If we get a hung jury we’ll find out soon enough,” Wesley told prosecutors and defense lawyers – the latter of whom looked very pleased.