Court documents reveal debate around Jodi Arias holdout Juror 17

Mar 10, 2015, 5:36 PM | Updated: 5:37 pm
...

PHOENIX — After a second jury failed to sentence convicted murderess Jodi Arias last week, there has been much ado about Juror 17.

Court documents released Tuesday revealed Juror 17 was at the heart of several issues, but was cleared of any wrongdoing by the court.

Often referred to as the “holdout juror,” the unidentified woman was the only vote against the death penalty on the 12-person panel. Her fellow jurors alleged she was difficult to deliberate with and had seen snippets of a Lifetime film about the case. HLN host Nancy Grace said, if that was the case, she should have been excused.

Here are the issues surrounding Juror 17, along with the reasons she was allowed to stay on the jury:

The stubborn juror

Though other jurors claimed post-trial that Juror 17 refused to participate, the documents showed she became a more willing participant in deliberations after Judge Sherry Stephens read the jury a modified impasse instruction and urged them to come to a consensus.

Juror 17 told Stephens she was reluctant to participate because the other jurors did not value her opinion and she was being harassed with details and photos not essential to the trial.

Juror 17 also said she refused to eat lunch with other jurors so she could remain as impartial as possible.

The Lifetime movie

The documents showed Juror 17 was upfront about having seen the film.

“I caught parts of it,” she wrote in a juror questionnaire. “I’ve never watched it through and wondered how much of it was facts or opinions but didn’t stay up at night about it.”

The court found no misconduct on the juror’s part.

‘The Secret’ and the search

On March 3, the state filed a motion to remove Juror 17 after it was learned she had seen “The Secret” and allegedly researched “The Law of Attraction World,” an idea from the aforementioned book. The state contended she had ignored a court warning.

Juror 17 explained she had read “The Secret” and seen the film two years prior to serving on the jury. She said she had not researched “The Law of Attraction,” but knew about it before becoming a juror.

The problem with social media

The state claimed it knew Juror 17 had seen “The Secret” because she had liked a Facebook page associated with the book. It also claimed she liked numerous news outlet pages and was on the social media site while serving on the jury.

Juror 17 admitted to using Facebook in the early stages of the trial, but discontinued using it because she did not think it was a good idea. The Facebook concerns were dismissed after the state said it would take two weeks to subpoena the social site for her records. It was also found other jurors used Facebook while serving.

The court said it had no choice but to presume the jurors obeyed instructions to avoid trial news.

The coercion

On March 4, Arias’ lawyers filed a motion for mistrial. They alleged the court had attempted to change Juror 17’s opinion by individually questioning her.

Under Arizona law, for a trial court to be guilty of coercion, it has to meet three requirements:

• The court had to be aware of the numerical split when giving the impasse instructions;

• the instructions had to focus on the holdout;

• and new evidence or information was given to the jury during the instructions.

The court failed to meet at least two standards and the coercion request was denied.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Arizona Humane Society)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Humane Society receives $10,000 grant for senior dogs

The Arizona Humane Society on Tuesday was one of the recipients of a $10,000 grant to ensure senior dogs receive proper veterinary care.
1 day ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Former Phoenix elementary school budget specialists indicted for fraud

Two former Wilson Elementary School District budget accounting specialists were indicted for fraud scheme charges.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)...
KTAR.com

Microchips bill driven by Sens. Sinema, Kelly of Arizona earns praise from business leader

Bipartisan legislation negotiated by Democratic U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona became law Tuesday, a move commended by one of the state's top business executives.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Villago Middle School)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona school district moves to 4-day weeks to boost teacher recruitment, retention

An Arizona school district moved to four-day weeks this year in an effort to boost teacher recruitment and retention and it's working, according to one principal.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Motorcyclist dead after collision with sedan in Phoenix

A 22-year-old man was killed in a collision involving a motorcycle and a sedan Tuesday morning in Phoenix, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Center for Biological Diversity photo)...
KTAR.com

Famous Arizona wild jaguar spotted alive in Mexico 7 years after last sighting

El Jefe, the only known wild jaguar in the United States, has been spotted alive and well in Mexico after going unseen for seven years.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Court documents reveal debate around Jodi Arias holdout Juror 17