SPECTOR FREED BY IDIOT
 
LOS ANGELES - The Phil Spector murder trial ended in a mistrial Wednesday with a 10-2 jury deadlock in favor of conviction.  Again, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office cannot seem to land the big one.  In truth, the prosecutors did a fine job of proving their case for second-degree murder beyond any reasonable doubt.  Justice was thwarted by a couple of particularly obtuse brainiacs within the jury panel.  Apparently the two jurors were taken in by the defense's smoke-and-mirrors attempts to insinuate the illusion of reasonable doubt where none existed.  It seems the two holdouts are the type of people who believe that when they go to a magic show and the magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat, it is real magic, not a trick.
 
The night of the mistrial, laying in bed unable to wrap my mind around the outcome, I thought about which two jurors were the possible holdouts, trying to come up with a plausible scenario.  I had very little to go on.  In fact, I only had information on two jurors: the Dateline NBC producer (Juror No. 2) and the guy who took a lot of notes (Juror No. 10).  The one-and-only thing I knew about Juror No. 2 was that he worked for Dateline as a producer, which made him an obvious choice as I have often found producers a generally hard lot to deal with, and then there was the abstract possibility of Dateline doing a "Spector: A Juror's Perspective" show.  But, although I find producers generally uncreative and shortsighted, I rarely find them idiotic, and they are usually capable of following a story line, making Juror No. 2 good for the prosecution's "Totality of Evidence" strategy.  This left me with the guy who took a lot of notes, Juror No. 10.
 
I knew a bit more about Juror No. 10: he's a civil engineer for Los Angeles County, a hydrologist; I assumed that meant he was educated (believing that hydrologist was not this week's politically correct term for a guy who scavenges garbage out of the L.A. River); he took thirteen notebooks of notes during the trial, far more than any other juror; and he was the jury foreman.  Rather quickly it became imaginable to me that he could have the right kind of psychology to engineer this massive fuck up.  First off, he took copious notes, meaning it was possible that he was caught up in every little detail of the case, probably scrutinizing every damn particle of minutia ad nauseam ("That drop of blood spatter is two microns in width; if Spector held the gun it would have been three microns!"), unable to step back and perceive the big picture; in short: he was the perfect juror for the defense whose case hinged on atom-splitting analyses and specious interpretation of the forensics.  Second, he was the jury foreman; he could be the type of person who needed to be the foreman: an active ego, a need to be in charge.  Brains + Ego = Know-It-All.
 
As I thought more about it I remembered the first time the jury declared it was at an impasse: Juror No. 10, the foreman, answered Judge Fidler's question about whether there was any more that can be done to assist the jury in reaching a verdict by saying, "I don't believe that anything else will change the positions of the jurors."  In truth, after the judge polled the jurors, three jurors said there was a chance of reaching a verdict if a particular juror instruction was addressed.  Others sought guidance on what defined a juror as being a reasonable juror (a question thats purpose is all too obvious now).  It seemed that Juror No. 10 must have been speaking only of himself, that nothing could be done to change his mind, because he was clearly not speaking on behalf of the entire panel as he should have been.  His titanic ego believes that his point of view is the absolutely correct one, not just for himself but for everybody: if he believes there is nothing else that can change the position of the jurors, then that's the way it is.  After all, he's the big brain, he took all the notes, he knows every minute detail, he's the foreman...
 
Anyway, that's how I pieced it together that night laying in bed.
 
I could not come up with who the second holdout might be, not knowing anything about any of the other jurors, but I thought it was very likely that Juror No. 10 held sway over him or her, perhaps a woman with romantic notions or someone who just believed he was smarter than the rest of them.  I went to bed knowing full well I could be totally wrong, but at least I could sleep.
 
The next morning I turned on CourtTV and learned that I was essentially correct.  Juror No. 10 was the main holdout and, according to Ricardo Enriquez (Juror No. 9), did hold sway over the other holdout, Juror No. 1, a woman the press dubbed "The Redhead."  Although I imagine Juror No. 10 is attractive to a wide range of women, in the end I believe Juror No. 1 was more taken in by his appearance of intelligence (after all, he wears the "intelligent" glasses) than any notion of romance.
 
Throughout the day information came out on CourtTV that supported my theory:  In answer to anchor Ashleigh Banfield's question about if there was anything at all that could have been said to sway the jury foreman, Ricardo Enriquez replied: "In my opinion, no."  Mr. Enriquez also indirectly suggested that Juror No. 10 did not properly participate in deliberations, rather went in to the deliberations with his mind firmly set and taking the position that it was the other jurors' job to convince him that he was wrong (an impossibility!), not engaging in the give-and-take dialogue of a deliberation.  According to Mr. Enriquez, after listening to yet another argument that failed to convince him that he was in error Juror No. 10 would simply say, "I'm still listening.  I'm still listening."  His idea of having an open mind?  Journalist Dominick Dunne recalled how on the August 9 field trip to Phil Spector's Alhambra home, Juror No. 10 took control of the jury, acting as their leader.  It appears he had already cast himself in the role of jury foreman before it was proper to do so.  Did he nominate himself as foreman when the time came?
 
But enough speculation, let's hear it from the horse's mouth.  As of today, Juror No. 10 has made two public appearances I know of.  The first was the day of the mistrial when he held a press conference with two other jurors; the following day he did a live on-air telephone interview on CourtTV's Banfield & Ford program.  A review of those two appearances offers insight into Juror No. 10's disturbing analytical processes.
 
(AUDIO TEMPORARILY REMOVED)
 
In brief, I believe the mistrial occurred not because of any ineptitude on the part of the prosecution or theories presented by the defense, but because Juror No. 10 suffers from a heretofore unknown personality disorder I shall call "Twelve Angry Men Syndrome."  Twelve Angry Men is a 1957 film starring Henry Fonda as a dissenting juror in an apparently open-and-shut murder trial who, through perceptive intellect, slowly manages to convince the other jurors that the defendant is innocent.  Perhaps Juror No. 10 saw himself — in some wacko sense — as the Henry Fonda of the Spector trial.  He alone was smart enough, perceptive enough to dissect every scrap of evidence, sift through the heaping piles of minutiae and unearth a zombie of reasonable doubt.  But unable to convince ten of the jurors to abandon their common sense and refusing to reexamine his conclusions (what he specifically called "succumbing to peer pressure"), he set himself up as the roadblock: there would be no justice if it was not his vision of justice.  Mistrial.
 
September 27, 2007
Juror No. 10
Matthew Broderick’s
Astonishing Interpretation
of Juror No. 10 PHIL SPECTOR
“The Tesla Coil” COIF of the CENTURY
EXTRA!
CRIME BEAT
  by Jack Tarpits    (Let’s Dance)
THE SCREW — PART I
A Spector Celebration Crime
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