Luke Gilman

Continuous Project, Altered Occasionally

11 Angry Jurors and 1 Lone Hold Out, Some Insight into Juror Dynamics

After seven weeks of trial and 14 days of deliberation on 24 counts, 67-year-old grandmother JoAnn Chiakulas was the lone hold out juror on whether former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had attempted to sell Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. Her interview with This American Life’s Ira Glass offers some fascinating insights on juror dynamics.

Chiakulas discusses the hostility and social pressure present in the jury room, the fear of public embarrassment and self-doubt, being hounded by the press for a month following her jury service. Her experience makes a reasonably good case for the availability of protective measures for jurors in high profile cases to ensure the integrity of the decision-making process and the privacy of the individuals who serve.

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