Let the Dysfunction Begin

Jurors are fighting.

“She kicked me!” “No I didn’t!”

They sound like lawyers.

4/10/95

By this time, the Simpson jurors had been sequestered for three months. So just how bad could having to live in a luxury hotel have been? Despite many amenities and considerations, the fact was they were essentially locked up. They had been 20-some strangers before they found themselves existing in lockstep with each other, being watched over, herded about and literally spied upon by sheriff’s deputies. They were not allowed normal contact or communication with their own family members, to watch or listen to TV or radio, read newspapers that didn’t have huge holes cut in them (stories related to the case, the defendant and the trial had been cut out), or go shopping, to movies,  or even restaurants except as a group.  Then they had nothing to do day after endless day except endure a marathon of squabbling among supposedly grown-up professionals who were supposed to be proving to them whether on not someone had committed the most heinous crime against what had been two living, loving and loved fellow human beings, but instead sounded like throwbacks themselves to their own “No I didn’t! Yes you did!” childhood days.

Mid-April really wasn’t the beginning of dysfunction among the Simpson jurors as many had already shown signs of the strain by then, but by mid-April it had certainly become serious, despite almost heroic behind-the-scenes efforts of trial judge Lance Ito to ease the strain and make their existence more tolerable.

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