Last night, like several nights, we booked for a short interview former juror No. 5 on the Scott Peterson (search) double murder trial jury.
We do not book him because we expect you to, or want you to agree with him or even like him. You may either like and agree with him or not. We are also not suggesting that juror five's opinion is that of the jury panel. We have no way of knowing what the jury is thinking. We book him for one reason: his perspective.
We are forever giving you the perspectives of lawyers and reporters and we want to give you as many perspectives of the evidence as possible. Why his? Because in the beginning of this trial — for reasons known only to the judge, the defense attorney and the prosecutor — all the parties agreed he would be a juror. They were all satisfied with him.
As time marched on, he got bumped from the panel. As best as we can figure out, he was bumped for ignoring the judge's order not to follow the case in the news in any way. This was not an insignificant infraction. It was wrong - and bad - to ignore the judge's order.
The "bumping" was also no doubt "helpful" to the judge to send the message to the entire jury that he is serious about his orders and that it is important to follow them (this IS a double murder case!)
In spite of our desire to give you as much variety of opinion about the evidence and the process of this trial as possible, many viewers are annoyed that we book the former juror. I would think if you are curious about the trial, that you would be curious about the opinions of many.
I am usually most curious about the opinions of people in the community who closely follow trials - they usually give you a better indication of how the trial is proceeding for either side than the pundits. In the end, it is the citizens of the community who vote on the verdicts — not us pundits!
Let me re-emphasize: we are not seeking to get you to agree with him or like him but rather to hear how one citizen in California who lives in that community with its local mores and who has sat in the jury box on this trial thinks of bits and pieces of the trial. Of course he does not speak for everyone in the community nor everyone currently serving on the panel.
We can't book a sitting juror but we can book a citizen - for a short interview - who was selected (and yes, ordered off the panel.) Here are a few e mails selected randomly (but I have yet to see one that says "keep booking juror No. 5!")
Email No. 1
When you were interviewing Justin (the ex-juror) on Monday's show (08/23), did you notice he said "we" several times, then corrected himself and said "I", when you were asking his opinion regarding the Peterson case?
I am suspicious Justin may have talked with other jurors either before, or after he was removed from the case.
No one else seemed to pick up on this during the show.
E-mail No. 2
Greta, I love your show and your guests, HOWEVER, Juror #5's 15 minutes of fame should be up by now. I think he could view a videotape of Scott killing his wife and child and still not think he is guilty! Everytime you ask him a question about Mr. Gerago's strategies or behaviors, or any of the prosecution witnesses, he immediately defends Mark and Scott and tries to put down the prosecutors. Let's just thank God that this man is off the jury. It appears that nothing the prosecutors put up seems to even make this man think that Scott could be guilty. Further, the State should seek to get its money back from its jury consultant! How in the world did he even make it on the jury?? ENOUGH WITH JUSTIN ALREADY!!!!
Sincerely, C. Sanders,
E-mail No. 3
When you first started having juror #5 on I thought it was a one or two time fluke. As I watched tonight I couldn’t take it anymore. Why do you insult us by constantly asking his opinion? Every time I see him on your show. I thank God he was removed. He is an insult to the intelligence of your audience. I abhor the thought of people like him on juries in this country. He certainly is not among his “peers” on your show or to your audience.
E-mail No. 4
How long exactly was he a juror? I would like to see you stop having him on your show as though he is the juror to end all jurors. I don't give a hoot what he has to say. His fifteen minutes of fame expired looooooong ago.
E-mail No. 5
RE: Scott Peterson: Please, please, please tell your producer that we the public is so tired of hearing what that lame brain has to say about something he only sat on the juror seat five days. Please don't give him any more air time as he cheapens your program and makes you look like a fool that you ARE NOT. Sincerely, Bev Donley,
E-mail No. 6
Greta how in the world can you justify having this jerk, Justin Falconer, on your show so often? The reason he's the "infamous juror #5" is because your show is making him that way. He's had his 15 min. of fame, do the decent thing and give him the boot. I couldn't believe tonight he was defending Geragos in his "no questions" for Amber Frey, and saying that Geragos OWNS that courtroom is totally ridiculous! If he had anything of any merit to add to your show, like the other guests you have on, then it would be a different story. All he does is get on there and glorify Geragos, while putting down Amber Frey. Along with Laci & Conner, Amber is one of Peterson's victims. Do the country a huge favor and give Justin Falconer the boot! Catherine Cryer doesn't do him near the honors that your show does, and I think its much more to their credit. Otherwise you just may lose a lot more viewers.
Mary M. Cope
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