Juror 7's Testimony Nov. 17, 2006 Hearing - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Juror 7's Testimony Nov. 17, 2006 Hearing

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Juror 7
BY THE COURT

Q.  If you would make yourself comfortable, sir.  I hate to be so impersonal but I am going to refer to you by your juror number, and you are Juror Number Seven.

A.  Right.

Q.  And I know you are soft spoken so I am going to ask that you give an audible response to each question that I ask of you because we are trying to make a record for the Court.

A.  Sure.

Q.  Part of the questioning that I will ask of you might include responses that would require you to identify other members of the jury and I would ask for the protection of their identity that you refer to them by their juror number.  And if you can't remember their number, certainly I am sure with the time you spent together you remember their names.

A.  Yes, sir.

Q.  Please refer to them by their numbers and not their names.  Let me first ask that you look at what has been marked as Court's Exhibit Number 10.  Have you seen a copy of that before today's date?

A.  Yes.

Q.  Do you recognize that to be - actually it's the original of the subpoena that was served upon you requiring your attendance to testify as a witness at this hearing today.

A.  Yes.

Q.  As part of that subpoena it is a requirement that you bring with you certain documents or objects, a further description, and it's several sentences long -

A.  Yes, sir.

Q.  - about documents to bring with you.  Have you had a chance to review any documents that you have in your possession that might fall under that category of documents required for you to bring?

A.  Yes.

Q.  And have you brought everything with you today that that subpoena requires you to bring?

A.  I brought one document that I was able -

Q.  I am going to get with you on things and let you explain further, I am saying to you for those things that you have in your possession, have you brought all of them today?

A.  Yes.

Q.  I am going to ask you some questions and we will cover these exhibits at the end.

A.  Okay.

Q.  Did anyone other than another juror try to influence your thinking about this case or your vote on the substantive counts against any Defendant?

A.  No.

Q.  Do you have any reason to believe that any other juror was subjected to attempts to influence his or her thinking about the case by anyone other than another juror?

A.  No.

Q.  Did anyone other than another juror attempt to discuss the case with you during the time you were a juror in this case?

A.  No.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you view or did you hear any news reports or other information relating to this case or to any Defendant in this trial from sources such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television broadcasts or Internet sites?

A.  I would say I had some inadvertent exposure to some of that.  For example, I get two newspapers delivered to my house, and over the course of two months I really was unable to avoid seeing the headlines in those.  I did not read the articles.  Similar on the Internet, I would be on the Internet on occasion and did see reference to some articles, but again, I did not read those articles. 

Q.  And I can't ask that you not be human.  Did you follow the Court's instructions as best that you could -

A.  Yes.

Q.  - to avoid any media coverage of this trial?

A.  Yes.

Q.  When you got your newspaper, as  I did, and I would open the newspaper up, obviously there may be headlines about the case.  Other than seeing the headlines and knowing that it related to this trial, do you recall what the headlines were?

A.  No.

Q.  Do you - and you said you never read the stories?

A.  Correct.

Q.  Either on print of the Internet?

A.  Not during the trial.  I went back after the fact, but not during the trial.

Q.  I am not interested in anything that happened after June 29th.

A.  Okay.

Q. Before the trial ended, while you were a juror in this case, do you recall reading any articles on the Internet, television, newspaper, radio about this trial other than what you have described?

A.  No.

 Q.  Did you ever discuss that fact that you had inadvertently seen headlines or seen Internet reference sites about this case to any juror during the deliberative process?

A.  I don't believe so.

Q. Could you have come in and told them oh, I saw this article in the paper today?

A.  I really don't think I did.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you view or did you hear any material from any books, newspapers, Internet sites or any other source relating to any witness, any legal issue or any factual issue related to this case?

A.  I think the answer to that question is no.

Q.  Okay.  Would you like me to repeat it? Let me repeat it -

A.  If you would.

Q.  - for the sake of clarity.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you view or did you hear any material from any books, newspapers, Internet sites or any other source relating to any witness, any legal issue or any factual issue related to this case?

A.  Let me - in answer to that let me - can I just get into - because I am not sure how to answer that, that particular question.

Q.  Answer the best that you can.

A.  Okay, Well and there's a document here that I brought with me that you will see that relates to something else that I guess you will get to in a few minutes.  It may be that it's appropriate for me to answer this particular question to let you know that early -

Q.  Let me - I am not trying to cut you off but let me ask you this, what does your document that you brought with you deal with?

A.  This is a document on the Court's Web site here that is sort of a handbook for jurors and has in there a couple of lines about the role of the foreman of the jury.  That's the one I brought with me.

Q.  All right.  I will ask you specifically about that later.

A.  Okay.

Q.  Other than that - let me repeat this question.  If you will discard that document that you have there.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you view or hear any material from any books, newspapers, Internet sites or any other source relating to any witness, any legal issue or any factual issue related to the case?

A.  Because I do want to acknowledge something I will say yes, and hoping this is the right place to do that.

Q.  Tell me what your answer is.

A.  Okay.  Early in the deliberation process as we really struggled with understanding how to comprehend and understand the organization of the indictment that was provide to us, it occurred to me that I might be able to better understand it and to help better to lead the discussion if I had some private time with the indictment to read it and understand its organization better -

Q.  Okay.

A.  - and so I located a copy of the indictment.

Q.  Where did you locate the indictment?

A.  I tried to go back this week and find it and I could not.  I believe it was on the District Court's Web site.  That's what I am remembering.

Q.  Okay.

A.  And so I located that, printed it out, read it privately at home.  Made some organizational-type notes to myself on there.  This was just independent thinking, no other sources involved.  And just to help me better understand how that document was written and to try do do a better job of leading the discussion.

Q.  You also referenced the - I guess the discovery of information on the Court's Web site about the role of the foreperson of the jury as well.

A.  Correct.

Q.  And did you print that document out?

A.  I don't remember.  I printed it out this past week to bring it here.  I don't remember printing that out originally.  I seem to remember just basically sitting there reading that and, you know, thinking okay, that's what I am supposed to do, and that was the end of that.

Q.  do you recall the instructions on the Court's Web site about what a foreperson is supposed to do that would be different from what the Court's instructions were to you about the role of a foreperson?

A.  I don't remember everything that you had said, but essentially no.  It's to leas the discussion, make sure that everybody around the table has a chance to be heard and, you know, that kind of thing.  Very brief, very to the point and very general.

Q.  Going back to the indictment.  You said you printed it out and you made some notes ---

A.  Yes.

Q.  - about I presume some of the counts in the indictment?

A.  I don't still have that document.  After a couple of days of having it we tended to get the hang of it and I didn't need it any more so really I believer I threw it away at home and so I no longer have it.  My notes on there were really organizational in nature, you know, what in here relates to what over in the Court's instruction notebook.  And there's a problem we had, flipping back and forth.

Q.  I don't want to hear that y'all got into about how you reached your verdict, I just want to know about extraneous information.

A.  Okay.

Q.  - was it brought into the jury room at any time during your course of - during the course of service as a juror, and how much time you spent discussing that.

A.  Okay.

Q.  You said that you printed off a copy of the indictment at your home.

A.  Yes.

Q.  Was that after the case was submitted to the jury for your deliberations?

A.  Yes, we were in deliberation at that point.

Q.  You printed off a copy and made notes.

A.  Yes.

Q.  Did you bring that document with you into the jury deliberation room?

A.  I did.

Q.  Did you share that with anyone in the jury deliberation room?

A. I don't believe so.

Q.  Did you share your subjective knowledge that you had recorded on that document to others in the jury deliberation room?

A.  I don't believe so.  I really believe I used that just as a sort of guide for myself on how the two documents would work together.

Q.  And do you recall how long it was that you referenced that indictment with your notes on it?

A.  I am thinking I probably brought it in maybe two days.  It could have been three.  During that time we really began to get the hang of how to deal with those documents and I didn't need it any more so I didn't bring it in after that.

Q.  You know that the Court provided you a copy of the indictment as part of the exhibits of this trial.

A.  We did.  I just found it difficult to really get a handle on it in the coming and going into the room with all the breaks and with all of us sitting around the table kind of - you know, everybody looking at you trying to - you know, there wasn't a lot of study time, and so that is what led me I guess to do what I did.

Q.  I am not here to accuse you of doing anything improper, I just want to know what it was that took place.  So other than looking on the Web site and looking at the role of the foreperson, and looking on the Court's Web site and getting a copy of the indictment, do you recall ever viewing or hearing any material from any books, newspaper, Internet sites or any other source relating to any witness, any legal issue or any factual issue in the case?

A.  No.

Q.  Those re the only two things you recall?

A.  As far as I can recall today.

Q.  And is it my understanding that you don't recall showing whatever it was you brought into the jury room with anyone, or sharing that with anyone?

A.  I recall using it myself, I don't recall any kind of discussions involved with that at all.

Q.  Did anyone question you about any information that you may have had?

A.  I don't remember anybody questioning me on that.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you in any way attempt to independently investigate any facts or law related to this case?

A.  No.

Q.  Other than what you have told me, assuming that that would fall within that category.

A.  Nothing.  Nothing more.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you overhear any conversations between persons not on the jury or between non-jurors and any member of the jury relating to this case?

A.  No.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you view or hear any extraneous information about the penalty that might be applicable to any Defendant if he was convicted of the charges as set forth in the indictment?

A.  No.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you obtain extraneous information from any source about your role as a juror, jury service generally, or your role as the foreperson of this jury?

A.  Yes.

Q.  And is that what you have already told me about?

A.  Correct.

Q.  Is there anything else that you looked at or researched other than what you have told me?

A.  No, those were the two things I really wanted to tell you about.  I don't think there was anything further that I did.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did any other juror say or do anything that caused you to believe that he or she had been exposed to extraneous information about this case from any source?

A.  I believe another of the jurors had also located a copy of the indictment.

Q.  Do you recall the jurors' name?  And if you would refer to her or him by juror number.

A.  That would be Juror Number 40.

Q.  And what was it that you recall being said about her having found a copy of the indictment?

A.  Nothing in particular, just that she had located a copy of the indictment and had - I guess had read that.

Q.  Did she bring a copy of it with her into court?

A.  I never saw a copy.

Q.  Did she ever share the fact with anyone else other than you that she had brought a copy - or that she had located a copy of the indictment?

A.  It seems like that might have been said before the group as a whole, but I don't remember exactly.

Q.  Was there any time spent questioning what she had seen or commenting or asking her to explain what she had seen?

A.  I don't remember anything like that.

Q.  After she made that statement do you recall what, if anything, was said to her or asked of her by the other jurors?

A.  I really don't remember anything being said to her related to that.

Q.  To your knowledge did she appear to have been exposed to extraneous information about this case from any other source other than seeing a copy of the indictment?

A.  No, I have no reason to suspect that.

Q.  Did she ever discuss any other document or any other research that she had done other than her locating a copy of the indictment?

A.  I don't remember any kind of discussion like that.

Q.  During the time that you were serving as a juror did you view or hear any extraneous information about either the law applicable to this case or any factual material relating to this case?

A.  I don't believe so, other than the things I have already talked about.

Q.  You brought some documents with you today that were required of you from that subpoena; is that correct?

A.  Yes.

Q.  Show me what you have, please.

A. (complies)

Q.  All right.  This is an 11 page document.  I would ask that it be marked as Court's Exhibit 10-A.

THE CLERK: (complies)

Q. All right. Juror Number Seven, I am going to hand it back to you (complies) and ask you if you would tell us what that is.

A.  This is a printout of a document called juror information, which was from the United States District Court - Middle District Court of Alabama Web site.

Q.  And is that what you said you looked at after you were selected as the foreperson in this case?

A.  Well, because I did not keep the original item that I had looked at and didn't print it out I can't say for sure this is the exact thing I looked at.  And I went to do a search again the other day to be able to print something and bring it in, and I don't know exactly what I looked at.  When I read the -

Q.  Let me ask you this question, unless the Court has changed the Web site is that information the same as what you looked at sometime in the summer months of 2006?

A.  It well could be.

Q.  What about that information or that packet of information did you review?

A.  I scanned down through it to get to the part where it talked about the role of the jury foreperson.

Q. And is that contained in that exhibit?

A.  It is.

Q.  Would you flip to the pages of that exhibit that the information that you reviewed is contained on.

A.  Okay.

Q. If you would, read for the Court what it was that you reviewed that would be considered extraneous evidence in your service as a juror.

A.  Okay.  In this District jurors elect a foreperson. The foreperson presides over the jury's deliberations and must give every juror a fair opportunity to express his or her views.

Q.  Do you recall reading or printing off either parts of that document?

A.  I recall reading words essentially to that effect.

Q.  Do you recall ever printing that part of that section of the Web site off?

A.  I don't remember printing it out.

Q.  And why did you print it out this time?

A.  Well, it was in the instructions to bring it along.

Q.  Okay.  Also it had a requirement that you bring any other exhibits that you may have had, and one of which you have referred to as a copy of the indictment.  Did you attempt to print a copy of the indictment off after you said you threw or discarded your one that you used?

A.  I did attempt to find it and as I went to the Court's Web site I could not locate it, so I just didn't find one.

Q.  So if the Court has removed that from the Web site would that explain why you couldn't see it?

A.  That was what I figured must have happened.

Q.  Okay.  Do you have any other documents or any other materials that you believe would be considered extraneous evidence or outside influence that either you participated in or you observed from any other juror who deliberated in this case?

A.  No.

Q.  Thank you for coming, sir.  I know it's been a drive for you.  I appreciate your time.  If you would leave with us that exhibit.  There are no other exhibits that you indicated that you brought with you; is that correct?

A.  That's it.  I couldn't find the others.

Q.  And the only other one would be the copy of the indictment.

A.  Correct.

Q. With that being said you may step down and you are free to go.

A.  Thank you.

MR. LEACH:  Your Honor, before that juror leaves I have one point I would like to bring to your attention if I could, please, sir.

THE COURT:  Is it any different than what you have just brought up?

MR. LEACH:  Yes, sir.  In order to access the indictment in this case I believe the jurors would have had to have a PACER account.  I would like for you to inquire about that.

THE COURT:  I will tell you as a matter of fact that that is not the case.  This indictment was originally put on the Middle District of Alabama's Web site as a link.

MR. LEACH:  As a link?

THE COURT:  As a link.  And it was taken down at the conclusion of the trial after I gave instructions to take it down.  Juror Number Five.

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