Mind-Reading in Court

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Dear Viewers,

If you remember during our intensive Peterson coverage, there was discussion from time to time about the jurors' expressions and body movements. Each time it came up, I talked about it being "voodoo." What I meant is that the remarks about body movements, facial expressions etc. were complete guesses since there is no way we can tell what these things mean. But, since the truth is lawyers talk about these things all the time, I figured I should give you a "real" picture of lawyer talk. It is particularly true the discussion goes on while the jury is deliberating since lawyers stand around talking and waiting ....and of course, they talk about the jury and what everything means. I used the term "voodoo" since I wanted to make sure you knew that we had no way of reading the jurors' minds or body movements. And, since I have been "around the block" many times in trials, I also knew that when we "interpret" these body movments and facial expressions, we can be dead wrong! Now, read on - an e mail note from Laura Ingle that I thought might amuse you:

From Laura Ingle:

greta, quick note about
Body language voodoo from the peterson jurors....

When I had a chance to talk to a few of them after the penalty verdict, one thing I wanted to know was, what all the movements and eye rolls in the jury box meant during the trial...When "coach" juror 1 was doing the "lazy boy" as I called it (fingers laced together behind head, body stretched out) did that mean he was bored with testimony? And juror 6, the foreman was rolling his eyes a lot and looking at his fingernails . He must have been really bored....right?

Turns out, "coach" had thrown out his back 3 weeks into the trial and pinched a nerve, and was always trying to get comfortable, and "6" HAD heard enough of the amber fry wiretaps and was over it. He also told me he couldn't believe people were talking about his picking at his nails. He said "I had a hangnail, geez"!!

So there you go..... Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes, it really is voodoo!

Now for some e mails....

E-mail No. 1

ANSWER - I told this e mailer / viewer to try Amazon.com....but I put this in here for you to show you that people from all over the world watched this coverage. We had emailers from England, Japan, Israel, Australia etc.

E-mail No. 2

Hi Greta,
Wow, I never cried as much during your show as when you interviewed the wonderful grandfather in that horrific murder case of that poor family. Thank you for letting him talk til the last second.
Lucille D. Fresco-Cohen
Tel Aviv

E-mail No. 3

Hi Greta!
I was watching your show this evening "what to expect of prison", for Scott Peterson. Most of your guest were wrong about San Quentin. Except for Mr. Jim Hammer. Everything he said was right on the button. I was once a Highly decorated Police Officer for San Francisco, but I got in to trouble and was arrested, convicted and sent to San Quentin Prison. It was a horrifying experience. I was sent to Ad - Seg, which is actually Death Row. I was put into a a 3'X'5' or so, cell and all you have is a thin mattress on a hard steal bunk. The food was nasty, except for breakfast. Your guest mentioned Top Ramen! That is the only food I would eat. On Death Row, during the winter, Water drips from the ceiling and it is freezing tempatures. The death Row inmates get to have a t.v., radio and other nick knacks that there families send in. As far as programming, They don't have a program, because they are not allowed to go anywhere. The visits are all behind thick glass windows with no exceptions. And if they do go anywhere, they are shackled from hands to ankles. Except for the yard. I believe they get 1 hr exercise time and it is in a very tiny yard with other inmates. So Peterson is not protected and is subject to being killed. the guards first priority, is officer safety! They will protect themselves before helping any inmate. I was stabbed three times, which was un-documented, because I didn't want to be locked up 24/7. They were minor, but I had to protect myself and change my looks every so often. About 10% of the guards were corrupt and kept giving me up and pointing me out to the inmates. And thats off the record if you don't mind. Most of the inmates police themselves. If there is a molester near by, they will find out and put a hit on him. The inmates also do not like baby killers, and that is Scott's down fall. Once they find out, He is through. Most importantly, there are men on death row who just don't care anymore and have lost hope. They will try to kill Scott! And yes, there is homo sexuality going on!
Mr. Hogue

E-mail No. 4

Dear Greta,
I wonder how the temperature inside the prison is adjusted. Since the cells have bars, it must be either cold or hot at times. Are the prisoners given coats, extra blankets, etc.? What if prisoners have chronic ailments, such as glaucoma or diabetes, which require daily medication? Do prisoners shower alone or in groups? Are they monitored by guards while in the shower?
I'm glad that you are discussing life at San Quentin and what awaits Scott Peterson. Those of us who have followed this case daily are not yet ready to let it go. Thanks for updating us about all aspects and personalities involved in this most interesting case.
N. Miami Beach, FL

E-mail No. 5

I just got done watching your story on the mother who was murdered in Missouri. I was watching the interview that you had with the gentleman from Illinois whose daughter was murdered and thought it was extremely insensitive on how he was abruptly cut off. I know you have to do a story, but where is the respect for this man and his family. The only reason you had him on was to make your story look better. Whether it was you or your station who is to blame, I think this man and his family deserve an apology. This just adds to the insensitive image that your field has.

ANSWER: No one feels as lousy about cutting him off as I do. Believe me, I don't do that because I enjoy it or that I am sloppy or that I don't care. There are times in a show when I MUST go to break or the computer will cut us to black which is REALLY rude! When I ask a question, I can not predict the length of the answer -- if I could, I would be the perfect anchor. I am not the perfect anchor....and, when I went to break having cut him off, I felt terrible. If you notice, I let him talk until the end -- I did not give a tease for the next segment...just said something like, "we gotta go..."

If you have read THIS far in the blog, I figure you and I are pretty good friends and we can share our lives. Hence, I thought I would give you a snapshot of my "before coffee" experience this morning. First, I woke up to discover the dogs (while my husband and I were sleeping), had a party . We had left two bags of dog biscuits on the counter when we went to bed last night. This morning....the wrapping material was on the floor and the two big dogs took off out the dog door when my husband (the first to get up) walked into the kitchen. The wrapping was all over the floor. Then, as the coffee was brewing, we both heard something "odd." That "odd" noise turned out to be a broken water pipe...yes, water all over the place!! It is the most unbelievable mess. We frantically tried to find water valves to shut off.....and both my husband and I are, apparently, pretty stupid when it comes to water valves. As I write this, a plumber is here addressing the problem. My husband had to race to an appointment, so I am "holding down the fort." One of the things I do daily, is clean the cat litter box. Because the day started so rough, I decided to take a shower first. After getting dressed, I went to the litter box and it is now clean. My husband is not here, and the plumber didn't do it. To make a long story short, I looked at the two dogs and now I am starting my day TOTALLY GROSSED OUT. I told them BOTH to go outside because they have really grossed me out. Finally, I will be scrambling to get to work since I have a cat in chemotherapy and she needs to get to the vet. So, if you think our lives are SO different,..think again....but alas, I still think I am lucky.

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