Three Jurors Dismissed From James Holmes Trial

Three jurors were dismissed today from the Aurora Theater shooting trial of James Holmes. One juror (juror 872) had told other jurors about media accounts of a mistrial request that had been denied. On another occasion she told them about information she received from her husband that one of the lawyers in the case (who was chief prosecutor George Brauchler) got in trouble with the court for tweeting about the case from the courtroom. Her husband told her that @GeorgeBrauchler had tweeted about the trial from the courtroom and he called him an "idiot." On one occasion, she had her husband on speakerphone in the presence of up to four other jurors.

The judge said, "This isn't' a one word type of thing. These were multiple comments."

There are four women jurors who hang out together on breaks on the patio where they can smoke cigarettes. The fifth juror sometimes went out to the patio. [More...]

The court called them all in individually for questioning. The juror who told the court about the communications, Juror 673, was not dismissed. The court found her very credible. Juror 535 was the fifth juror who happened to be out on the patio on one of the occasions. She was not dismissed after saying she only heard one word "mistrial" and then went back inside.

Jurors 412 and 495 were dismissed along with Juror 892. The judge found they were not being honest. They were to be escorted from the courthouse. The judge prohibited the three dismissed jurors from talking to the media, and he prohibited the media from contacting them before the case is over.

There are 12 alternate jurors in the case, now down to 9.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Sort of unsurprising (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Tue Jun 09, 2015 at 03:59:26 PM EST
    This trial has been taking weeks and, especially in a high-profile case, this sort of thing is almost bound to happen.  There was the case earlier this term where the S.Ct. limited the review (to nonexistence) which can be had for jurors who lie about their impartiality (or other issue) during voir dire.  Better to get these jurors out now - they weren't honest.  False in one, false in all, etc.

    Of course, if this comes down to a mistrial, it would just be more egg on the egomaniac prosecutor, who needs a kill and spends millions on a show trial, where the defendant offered to plead guilty and accept LWOP.

    Can these jurors (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zorba on Tue Jun 09, 2015 at 04:36:38 PM EST
    be subject to any legal repercussions?
    And what about the allegedly tweeting attorney, assuming this allegation is true, and assuming the attorney can be identified?

    As J noted... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 02:29:53 PM EST
    there is no allegedly about this.  While I can't speak to the legal ramifications of "tweeting while prosecuting", there is certainly the possibility of sinking Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler's political ambitions before they get off the ground.

    Brauchler has been positioning himself for a run at Governor when Hickenlooper has to give up the office in 2018 due to term limits.  Having already taken the risky move of rejecting a plea deal and insisting on a death penalty trial, if his tweeting is seen as harming the case in anyway, its going to come back to kick him right were it hurts.  

    At best, he's now saddled with being known as that "idiot tweeter".


    he admitted it and apologized (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 09, 2015 at 07:24:14 PM EST
    calling it "inadvertant".