This episode gives us some insight to the jury who were sequestered for a total of 266 days. There were twelve jurors and twelve alternates. At first that number of alternates seems excessive but after a trial of that length, there were only two left by trial’s end. Several people lied to get on the jury for a variety of reasons. Most who were dismissed were dismissed for lying during the questionnaire or during voir dire. Tonight, we saw one female juror get dismissed for failing to report domestic violence and another male juror for failing to mention he had kidnapped his wife once. Both dismissed jurors were black. Their replacements were white. But Cochran started to investigate the white people and have them dismissed. This went back and forth between the two legal teams until there were only three alternate jurors left.
The remaining jurors are melting down. A young black juror says that the deputies treat the white people better. Because, apparently, black people like Ross and white people like Target and they were only allowed to spend 30 minutes in Ross. Then there was that day that almost all the jurors wore black and Judge Ito once again cancelled testimony for the day. All the white and Hispanic jurors and most all of the black jurors wore black because the woman who accused the deputies of being racist because she didn’t get enough time at Ross caused Judge Ito to rotate out the deputies. The deputies spent a LOT of time with the jurors and most of them had become quiet friendly with the original crew. In reality I think they only rotated out a few of the jurors. But this pissed most everyone off and they didn’t want to have to start over getting to know new deputies. One woman was dismissed for extreme anxiety after asking to be dismissed several times. I don’t think anyone went ballistic during breakfast. But probably because no one thought of ripping their clothes off and going all Britney Spears.
Check out this excerpt from an LA Times story about the Jurors Revolt.
The transcripts also reveal that some of the jurors cried at the hotel on the night of April 20 after learning that three of the deputies guarding them had been reassigned.
Among those was Juror 98, a 52-year-old black woman who told Ito she was upset about the dismissals because two of the deputies had been with her when her sister died: “They were there with me through a lot of crying times.”
She told the judge she was one of 13 jurors who wore black on April 21 as a sign of mourning for the dismissed deputies.
Yet another black female juror described the deputies as “very professional and very kind.”
After receiving a hand-delivered letter signed by the 13 protesting jurors–black, white and Latino–Ito that morning decided to meet with them individually and shut down testimony for the day and for April 24.
Also, here is an excerpt from one of Dominick Dunne’s articles written at the time about the Jury Revolt for Vanity Fair
The jury mutiny in April, when the jurors protested the dismissal of three of the deputies guarding them after Tracy Hampton, the African-American flight attendant on the panel, said it was either them or her, seems to have had a healing effect on the troubled group. For the first time since the trial began, I sense a unity among the jury that was not evident before. They are more relaxed, and seem to be enjoying one another’s company. During a long sidebar recently, some of us members of the press were staring at the jurors, and they were staring back. Finally, they all began to laugh at the same time, probably at us for staring at them. Just as we have nicknames for them, they most likely have nicknames for all of us regulars in the courtroom. The white female on the panel whom former juror Jeanette Harris said had kicked her seems to have formed a friendly alliance with another African-American woman, who sits in front of her. If there are tensions among the jurors, they are not evident. Larry Flax, the co-founder and co-chairman of California Pizza Kitchen, played host to the jury at his downtown pizza emporium. Flax told me that he reserved a private section with three tables for the group, and that all of them came except for one. He described them as affable, friendly, and funny. He said that although the men sat together at one table, the women seated themselves in a racially mixed manner at the other two, belying the dismal picture of racial conflict presented by Jeanette Harris. Subsequently, 13 of the 17 jurors appeared in the courtroom one day wearing California Pizza Kitchen T-shirts. On the back of the T-shirts was written, FOURTEEN ETHNICALLY DIVERSE CULTURES PEACEFULLY CO-EXISTING ON A THIN DELICIOUS CRUST.
However, all is still not bliss. The alternate juror who took Tracy Hampton’s place is a 28-year-old single Hispanic woman who works as a real-estate appraiser with the Los Angeles County Assessors Office. Tall and slender, she has long black hair that hangs to her shoulders, and her extremely pale face is brought to life by her scarlet lipstick. As an alternate, she often read a self-help book called Six Pillars of Self-Esteem during sidebars. On the questionnaire she filled out during voir dire, she wrote of Simpson, “He’s the only person who had a visible motive. It was his ex-wife, and she was with another man. It’s something most people would have a problem with.” The defense is not pleased with her as a regular on the jury.
Tracy Hampton, whom Judge Ito released on May 1, was the first of the dismissed jurors to have no words to say to assembled reporters when she returned to her parents’ home, or any wish to capitalize on the fame that could have been hers. She held her hands up in front of her face so as not to be photographed. The following day, she was rushed to the hospital after reports that she had suffered a violent seizure. Her face and body were covered with a sheet as she was carried on a stretcher to the waiting ambulance. The young woman had obviously been suffering during the last weeks she was on the jury panel. A miasma of dark rumors suggesting particularly disturbing suicide attempts remain unconfirmed.
We also saw a lot of Robert Kardashian struggling with the DNA evidence. He now knows for sure that OJ is guilty and he wants off the case. He can’t quit, and he is terrified they are going to win. It was rumored that several of OJ’s lawyers wanted to quit the case. But they, much like the jury were pretty much stuck.
I think this show has done a good job of telling us about the jury, many of them did lots of interviews. We have seen all of the issues going on in the lives of the lawyers and the jury and the judge during this extremely long trial.
What did you think of episode 8? We only have two more left!