L.A. Confidential

Dear Viewers,

At the risk of getting into trouble with others, I thought you might like to see some pictures of the L.A. bureau that I know you won't see elsewhere.

If you are a guest in the L.A. bureau, you will see this the object in Photo No. 1: the couch in the make up room in the L.A. bureau. I am curious as to your thoughts about it. I am taking the Fifth.

Everyone knows Shepard Smith is a star. Someday he may get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But, until he gets his star in cement, check out what hangs on the wall in the L.A. bureau's make up room (Photos No. 2 and 3).


Scott Peterson Murder Case: Behind the Scenes of the Jury Selection

My "source" continues to write me about the ongoing jury selection in the Scott Peterson double murder case. As you know from reading other GretaWire blogs, this "source" is a citizen who goes to court every day and takes notes as the jury selection proceeds. Although I have never asked the person to send me these notes, I do find them very interesting and I am delighted the person forwards them to me. I am very curious about what the potential jurors are being asked and what they are answering.

Of course, I can't vouch for accuracy of the e-mail but I have no reason to believe that the notes are anything but accurate. I met the person who sends them and the person certainly seemed to me to be the kind who gets it right.

Because of all the news in Iraq, we have not recently been covering the jury selection in the Peterson case. We intend to spend a considerable amount of time covering the trial once the opening statements begin (May 17) and witnesses are called to the witness stand. But, to "share the wealth," here is the e-mail note I received today about the jury selection. Note the part of the e-mail that I have underlined: I think it is interesting that Scott Peterson's lawyer is now asking jurors that question.

Here is the e-mail:

Four more jurors were qualified today in the Peterson Trail bringing the total number to 29.
Jurors to qualify:

Juror #6125 is a 30-something white female bank supervisor with a BA in liberal arts (in primary education) who still lives at home with her parents was the first juror of the day to qualify. This woman has been a bank supervisor for three years, and expressed concerns on the questionnaire about accepting photocopies as evidence, since banks require originals, but said that she could used photocopies as evidence.
When asked if Police Officers are more likely to tell the truth, stated, "Everything is subjective." Take for example an eyewitness. The story changes as it gets passed around. "The last person gets the story not as accurate as what you saw." As for exposure to pre-trial publicity, when asked if there was "water-cooler talk" answered, "Not really." When the bodies were found it the bay, it was reported on the news, but not discussed. However, when she received the jury summons her Dad, a retiree from the USAF, called and expressed his views on Peterson's guilt, to which she replied, "How can you make a judgment about that without facts?" When asked by the defense if she could be fair, she replied, "I can be fair. It was the way I was brought up, to not judge people on appearance, and to treat people as you would be treated."

Juror #4555 is a white male in his 40s who is currently a pilot, and who received pilot training in the USAF. When Judge Delucchi pressed the man for an answer about the death penalty, the man said, "That the bar would have to be very high," and equated confronting his dilemma to shooting a deer for the first time as it appeared in the cross-hairs. "Yes, I think I could (invoke the death penalty)."
This man had basic knowledge of the trial, but has not formed any opinions, and can put all he's heard about the case aside. Once people found out this man was in the jury pool, they approached him expressing opinions of Peterson's guilt. This man did follow the Richard Allan Davis case closely (Polly Klaas) and agreed with that verdict (death). When Geragos asked if he could recall when he discussed the case, he recalled it was at a social gathering right after he received his summons. "You don't want to be on that jury," someone in the crowd commented. However, this man is willing to "serve his duty," as he did in the military.

Juror #3981 is a Russian immigrant who works with computers. In Russia, both his parents were attorneys: His father was a prosecutor for the government and his mother was a defense attorney. This man was only 13 years of age at the time, (when his parents were attorneys in Russia) and they did not discuss their work at the dinner table, but they did encourage him to go to study law. Currently, this man's father works in construction, and his mother is ill. In Russian law, the burden of proof is on the defense -- which is just the opposite of U.S. law (Geragos has studied Russian Law). This man admitted he has heard very little about the case, but if someone approached him to try and influence him, he would turn away, because, "This is serious."

Juror #7088 is a white female, a little heavy-set, short auburn hair, whose husband had been in law enforcement in the military, but has not worked in law enforcement since a motorcycle accident made him "slow." The husband does volunteer for law enforcement in Broadway, a small municipality between San Francisco and Daly City. This woman stated she never reads the paper except for the movie section, or to "breeze the headlines," and the only personal internet access is to whop on eBAY. This woman voiced disgust that, "The media runs stories that shows extremes, they have tried and convicted him in the media, which is unfair. It scares me." When asked what she thought of the Peterson movie, The Perfect Husband, replied, "It's disgusting that people are gaining money from someone's pain and misery." This woman admitted that she and her children have discussed the case, but she has not formed or voiced any opinions, however coworkers have expressed opinions of Peterson's guilt. When asked about the question, "Police Officers are more likely to tell the truth," she explained that there are good cops and bad cops. Her daughter has a Hispanic epileptic boyfriend, and he experienced a seizure, four San Carlos police officers surrounded the prone youth. When the boyfriend came out of his seizure, he ran and the police tackled him causing a bloody nose, bruises, and skinned elbows. This woman assured Geragos that she could identify with both sides of law enforcement, the good and the bad. When asked about extramarital affairs, she responded that her first husband was unfaithful, and she had cause with infidelity, until her mother confessed that their (parent's) perfect marriage was blemished with he father's affair early in the marriage. "They made it though." That incident changed her mind about infidelity.

Note: Lately, more and more jurors are asked by Geragos if they would have to answer to anyone if they found his client not guilty. Could they live with the fact that, "They are one of those Peterson jurors that found him not guilty?"

Other Court Proceedings: Prosecutor Pat Harris expressed concern that during the trial, exhibits will be available to the media, and some of the evidence may be fragile. Judge Delucchi stated that he will conduct a hearing after the prosecution has made its case to see what evidence should be made public record and therefore made available to the media. The exhibits will be available to the media every Friday.

Jurors excused during voir dire:
#4473 - a dark Asian woman in her 40s, who works for an architectural firm. Her spouse is a police officer who expresses his opinion of Peterson's guilt daily, and this woman would have a hard time justifying a "not guilty" verdict to him.
#4368 - retired white woman in her 60's, excused because, if found guilty, LWOP (Life without parole) is not an option - only death
#7161 - mid-40's female contractor for the county - won't get paid.

Jurors excused by stipulation (without undergoing voir dire):
#4624 - self-employed gardener - excused for hardship
#29329 -Questionnaire p 19, q 107 violates Wainright vs. Whitman, also weakly opposed the death penalty and thinks the news media is accurate.
#7114 - Questionaire p17. Q94 - guilty, he is guilty until proven innocent (to which the judge replied, "Just like the Russian Law (laughter)!"
#12245 - "He's probably guilty, there's just too much evidence of it (his guilt)." "I could be fair, but it would be difficult." "LWOP is was waste of taxpayer's money."
#6964 - "I think he's guilty." When asked about the death penalty, he replied, "I think it's swell!" When asked about LOWP, replied, "Ditto!"

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