Jury Inquest in a Haiku Three-Fer

Juror inquest starts.

Each one is to be questioned.

Is there misconduct?

4/17/95

 Who should listen in —

Allred and the defendant?

Juror matter closed.

4/18/95

Who will get to read

Transcripts of the inquiry?

Public’s right to know?

4/19/95

Early in the trial, Judge, Lance Ito said media issues consumed a third of his time. Within a couple of months after opening statements, so much stuff was going on with jurors, I noted in Anatomy of a Trial that “If media issues consumed a third of Ito’s time during the trial, jury problems took up another huge chunk.

“From secret note-taking for book deals to personality clashes, rebellions, illnesses, and psychological disorders, hardly a day went by from the time the jury was sequestered, on January 11, 1995, until it delivered the verdicts nearly nine moths later that Ito didn’t hold a closed session to solve one knotty juror problem or another. Jury issues became so squirrely, Ito wondered if what he called “stealth jurors” had made it onto the panel and were trying to sabotage the case.

“‘Every day there would be three things I’d never seen before in my judicial career,’ he said years after the trial. ‘I consulted with other judges and they hadn’t either.’,” I wrote in the opening paragraphs of the chapter on the jury and juror issues.

The reference to Allred in the 4/18/95 haiku was Gloria Allred, who was representing one or more of the murder victims’ relatives, who frequently surfaced in the wings of the trial. So many people lobbied to sit in on Ito’s interviews with jurors, I can’t even remember of defendant Simpson was one of them.

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