The LuLac Edition #1438, Jan. 15th, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: OUR "INTERVIEW" LOGO.
This week I interviewed a former business associate that was on a few juries in her lifetime. Naturally the Lamont Cherry trial came up in our conversation.
Q: How many juries have you sat in on?
A: Three. In the 60s, 70s and 90s.
Q: Wow. Anyone particularly impress you?
A: Well my first jury was an assault case. The DA at the time actually prosecuted the case.
Q: Who was that and how was he?
A: Stephen Teller. And I found him very impressive.
Q: That going back, he served between ’59 and 63.
A: It was ’62.
Q: What was the verdict?
A: Guilty. We heard the testimony of the detectives and then the person who got beat up.
Q: What swayed you, the lawyers or the evidence?
A: Oh the evidence. The detectives were very factual.
Q: How about the 70s?
A: It was a hit and run case. Chet Muroski was Assistant DA at the time under Toole.
Q: Do you remember the defense attorney?
A: No. I think it might have been a Public Defender.
Q: Guilty or innocent?
A: Guilty. I don’t even know why the guy didn’t plea it out because the evidence was overwhelming. By the way were you ever on Jury Duty?
Q: No, I was called a few times but because I was in the media at the time I was disqualified. In 2001 I was called and actually sat around but was home by Tuesday afternoon.
A: Uh huh.
Q: In the 90s? What case were you on then?
A: It was a case that involved giving alcohol to minors. I was very impressed with Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr.
A: Don’t know, never went to trial. There were all types of conferences going on and then they said it was plead out. But I heard the guy gave up other people and they were druggies.
Q: What did you think of the Cherry trial?
A: Glad I wasn’t available for that. My age and all that.
A: There was a lot of stuff going on. First he says he told the police she fell, then he says he didn’t. Right away, reasonable doubt. But then I thought if the kid fell on the barbells, how come there was no hair or blood on the barbell? Wouldn’t the cops look after he told him that? Plus he was the only one there so how do you know. Plus he had 8 other kids…..
Q: And how would that affect you?
A: No one ever said those 8 other kids with God knows how many mommies were abused or hurt by him. At least from what I read. So if I had reasonable doubt, I’d have to do what the jury did.
Q: Which was finding him not guilty on Thursday night?
Q: How about the Judge calling a mistrial on the other two charges, they say it’s pretty historic in Pennsylvania?
A: Not a lawyer now, just a retired little old lady playing the lotto every once in a while but I think the Judge (Polachek Gartley) had no choice. I mean it was clear the jury made their mind up on the one thing but the others two counts they couldn’t decide as far as I know.
Q: Any comments about the juror who went out on her own and researched something about a detached retina?
A: Please. What was wrong with her. I’d disqualify her.
Q:But she said she meant no harm and was trying to help.
A: Sonny the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
A: Look, when you are a juror, you listen, you learn the evidence and you process (tapping her temple) only what they give you and use what’s up here. Nothing else. All of a sudden you don’t become Quincy or Kojak trying to solve the case. You are not there to help, you are there to judge. And you judge what’s in front of you. Period.
Q: Okay then.
A: Is this going to be in the paper?
Q: No, I’m on the internet.
A: Humph, internet you can have that.
Q: I’ll send you a copy.