Apr 28, 2011

Ninth Juror picked in Komisarjevsky Trial

One more juror chosen today and thus, nine more to go, including six alternates; Four alternates are the standard for most Jury's , but capital cases might call for additional alternates, as was done during the Hayes trial, (Komisarjevsky's accomplice in the Petit murders -  he was tried first and given the Death Penalty after long deliberation)

It should be noted that it was indeed an intelligent decision to have extra alternates during Hayes' trial, as with very violent and emotional crimes such as the Petit assaults and murders, jurors seem to  "quit" more often, citing that they can't handle the evidence emotionally or sometimes they will use other family hardship reasons for not being able to live out their commitment. This happened quite frequently within the Hayes Trial, with jurors and alternates both asking to leave well into the trial and others being dismissed by the Judge for various breaches in the jurors sworn oaths.

In any event,each one of the additional alternates during Hayes trial almost became acting jurors as the original twelve juror panel began to steadily dwindle starting the second day of proceedings when a juror asked to speak with Judge Blue regarding some concerns he had about the States presentation of the case..

The Juror somewhat nervously found himself addressing the entire courtroom, media and all, when I believe he'd expected to speak alone with the judge. The Jury however, was removed from the courtroom for the duration of what turned out to be a loquacious and stinging diatribe re the States" haphazard presentation of evidence thus far", which had been circulated to the Jury at that early point in the trial process.

While his sentiments might have had some validity, they were clearly over-zealous and  premature, and his decision to elaborate ad nauseamover the states failings at such an early juncture, gave the court a birds
eye view of both his lack of judgement and a clear prejudice against the State at a very early point in the

Within his response to the Jurors litany of complaints and concerns which he  read from a sheef of paper that he had clearly spent some time preparing.

Judge Blue had given the juror some paternal sounding advice regarding his concerns, explaining that it was very early in the trial process  to make any sweeping judgementsregarding the States handling of the case, specifically taking issue with a lack of prompt explanations to the Jury regarding evidence that had been distributed to them early in the trial process.
At the end of the judges 
advice to the juror which consisted mostly of give this a bit more time and the pieces of evidence will be explained and tied together by the State,  He was asked several times by Judge Blue, if he could uphold his duties as a juror, as promised at the outsetof the Jury instructions;

The Juror John Lively,said as things stood " he could not."  The prosecution moved to have Lively dismissed. The Defense objected and elaborated on the reasons for their objections - Lively had been one of their picks and it was clear they wanted him on the Jury. Judge Blue heard Ulmann's objections out and moved to dismiss the Juror again,citing concerns regarding what he considered unreasonable behavior for a juror the bottom line fact that the juror was asked twice if he could perform his duties as sworn under oath and he said he could not. There was a parallel issue that Lively would contaminate the other members of the jury with his
 probable ongoing dissection of the States presentation of their case.

That was the the first Juror to be dismissed, albeit by his own provocation.
A good number would follow, either of their own accord, asking to step down,one having practical issuesregarding family matter,while others had emotional reaction to the crimes and evidence.

 But none left as unexpectedly and colorfully as that first very eccentric,articulate juror who apparently expected  perfectionism from the State, and within a few days into the trial,realized that this wasn't
going to be Law and order.