WE HAVE A JURY: Danny Masterson Trial, Day 5, Morning break report
WE HAVE A JURY!
Here’s our flash report at the morning break. These are the same notes we sent out to other reporters.
Pool notes, Tuesday Oct 18
Danny Masterson has arrived today with his wife, Bijou Phillips.
Judge Olmedo begins things by asking the attorneys for their "challenges for cause" to remove potential jurors before they are brought in.
Defense identified a few, but the People had none.
Defense attorney Goldstein begins with its first challenge...
Juror 42: Works with sexual assaults in a hospital emergency room. And had seen the Leah Remini documentary.
Anson pushes back.
Goldstein then suggests they talk about the Remini documentary. She is saying that any juror who has seen it will not give Masterson a fair trial. She goes through a list of jurors who had mentioned a documentary or docu series. Which means it is something newsworthy rather than a reality show.
Two of the women in this case were interviewed on the show, one was in the finale episode.
The jurors' memories may be triggered of seeing these victims in the show. Those docuseries went extensively into these allegations.
And Goldstein remembers seeing inflammatory allegations like the killing of pets. The juror memrories may be triggered if they see these victims in the court.
Even if these jurors wish to be fair and impartial, they can't be. She reads off a long list of juror numbers she wants removed because they admitted to seeing a documentary.
Judge Olmedo: Let me ask you this, when we have a minority juror, and they have been exposed to shows about planting of evidence, or it has happened to their family members, but they say they can be fair, is that challengeable? Because according to our new rules that is not challengeable. The law has changed. It specifically says you take people at face value when they say they can be fair.
Goldstein: If the alleged victims have been on the show...
Judge Olmedo: Let me stop you there. Numerous jurors say they say the Leah Remini show, but that was a series. The finale was a single episode. When they say they saw the show, they didn't necessarily see the one with the women.
Goldstein: We actually don't know. That's a Pandora's Box from a defense perspective.
Anson responds for the People: Two women who have alleged (in the Remini show), only one is a charged case in this trial. To make speculative arguments by how the jurors might react is improper to use for a challenge.
Cohen: We have previously submitted an extensive questionnaire that would have touched on these issues, which did not get into this court. I thought the court did a very good job stopping jurors when they began to get into their thoughts about Scientology. One person the court brought in for a sidebar, when he expressed very strong feelings about Scientology. We have previously asked if we could do sidebars with jurors.
Olmedo: I ididn't say we couldn't do sidebars, I said if the jurors wanted to do sidebars they could. I said I don't like to do sidebars during the trial.
Cohen: We had asked that any questions dealing with Scientology be dealt with sepearately. Given the amount of jurors that we have, and given what one brought up that we only have the initial on some witnesses, so don't know if they've seen them before. We don't know what part of the docu-series they saw. We don't know what seeing the women will make them recall.
Judge Olmedo: You still haven't asked the question, what about minority juror has strong feelings but says they can be fair, and we take that person, how is that different than this case?
Cohen: The difference is that if a police officer being accused of abuse was in the documentary they saw, I can't imagine that not being a reason for cause.
Judge Olmedo: OK, thank you. (Now she asks the defense to go quickly through its list.)
Juror 49: Wife was a victim of sexual assault, and he says Scientology is a cult. He's not going to be able to give Mr. Masterson a fair trial. Shows bias that has no place in this trial.
Juror 33: Prior experience of sexual assault.
Juror 132: Person does assessment of abuse at clinics. "I will try to be fair," she said. Not I can be fair.
Juror 138: When asked by Mr. Cohen with analogy of sand, he expressed an opinion if someone is willing to take the stand to testify to rape, there is probably sand there. That violates the presumption of innocence.
Ms. Anson: Juror 49 was asked further questions and said he could be fair, and there was no sand in the jars.
Juror 103: She could be fair and impartial, that she didn't know any police officers.
Juror 132: When she said she would try to be fair, no further questions were asked.
Juror 138: Anson says it was a little confusing what he was saying sand in the jar.
Judge Olmedo, about the people who have seen documentaries but said they could be fair, she will not remove them. It's speculative that the show would have any influence on them, and whether they had seen the episode that featured one of the alleged victims in this case. All of them said they knew very little of Scientology and it wouldn't influence them. In addition, code of civil procedure (cite) was modified to find specific reasons to excuse jurors.
She explains that the law was specifically changed to make it invalid to remove jurors for previous poor experiences or attitudes toward law enforcement as long as they say they can be impartial, and Judge Olmedo finds a parallel here.
With that said, the group of viewers of Scientology material is not a constitutionally protected group, so you can use (she cites another way the defense could remove them).
She said challenges are denied, but 103 and 132 are being excused. She sends the clerk out to get the jurors.
While we wait, she's explaining how she will not generally object on her own, except when it comes to ask-and-answered in order to keep things going along. But as a general rule I don't interject a lot.
Jurors come in.
Judge Olmedo thanks them for their service. I want you to know how much your presence here is appreciated.
This is a little like musical chairs. Be sure to pick up your belongings when you are asked to move. If you are asked to leave, please give Mr. Saiki your yellow badge.
We will start with peremptory challenges, for the people in the first 12 seats.
People first. Mueller says he would like to thank and excuse Juror 1.
Juror 24 moves into that seat, but defense removes her.
People remove juror 5. Defense remove juror 12. 30 takes her place
People remove juror 20. 31 takes her place.
Defense removes juror 31. 32 takes her place.
People remove juror 17. 33 takes his place.
Defense accepts panel.
People thinking about it. And thinking.
Judge Olmedo: "This is when I always hear the Jeopardy tune going through my head."
People accept the panel.
Judge Olmedo: Will the twelve of you please stand?
They are sworn in.
We're not quite done, Judge Olmedo says. How many have performed in theater? Now we have to pick our alternates. I liken alternates to an understudy in a play.
Asks to see the jurors at sidebar.
There are 7 men and 5 women on the jury.
Lawyers come back in.
Jurors 41, 42, 44, 49, 54, 57, 58 are seated for alternates.
People accept alternates.
Defense remove 41, replaced by 62.
People remove 62, replaced by 65.
Defense removes 42, replaced by 66.
People remove 65, replaced by 67.
Defense removes 49, replaced by 69.
People remove 67, replaced by 81.
Defense accepts the panel.
People remove 66, replaced by 82.
Defense removes 82, replaced by 91.
People accepts panel.
Seven jurors (5 women, 2 men) stand and are sworn in.
Judge Olmedo thanks the rest for their participation
We’re on break!
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"This is a little like musical chairs. Be sure to pick up your belongings when you are asked to move."
I don’t know about the rest of the Bunker’s readers, but I simply can’t read about a case involving Scientology and musical chairs without thinking of the infamous musical chairs game orchestrated by Miscavige at the Int. Base so many years ago!
So two of the jurors that got the most attention from the defense didn’t make it to the lineup because their numbers were too high and two of the jurors the defense thought wouldn’t be impartial are empanled, one as a juror, one as an alternate. Let the show begin.