Sunday, May 10, 2015

Etan Patz Lone Juror Speaks Out

Etan Patz was killed in 1979.  A judge has declared a mistrial.  All jurors but one voted for guilt.  The jury members, sans one, are infuriated and called the lone juror "delusional."

For readers:  What do you make of his statements?

Do they reveal genuine doubt of guilt?  Or, did this juror have a motive?  Did he go into the trial with a preconceived conclusion?  Is he, as claimed, a contrarian?  Is he seeking fame from this?


Did he simply doubt the suspect who confessed did it?

The interview was 45 minutes.  We have only a portion of his statement and do not know the questions.   I have added underlining on key words.

I will post my conclusions in the comments section...

What do you think?  

Will other jurors agree with his characterization of the deliberations?  

Why I said not guilty: Etan Patz jury’s lone holdout speaks

Why I said not guilty: Etan Patz jury’s lone holdout speaks
A Manhattan jury deadlocked on Friday after 100 hours deliberatingthe fate of Pedro Hernandez, a mentally ill New Jersey man who had repeatedly confessed to murdering 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979.
The lone, pro-acquittal holdout, Adam Sirois, 42, spoke to The Post on Saturday in a 45-minute interview at his Stuyvesant Town apartment — about the evidence, deliberations and his struggle to stick to what he believes to be the truth.

I knew that I would start from the presumption of innocence. I knew that because we are told we should start from that presumption.
There were certainly plenty of times I think we all had during the trial — moments, just “wow” moments.

Like, “Oh, my God, that throws a lot of doubt in it!” Or, “Oh, my God, he did it!” For me, there were moments — different days, different periods of time — when I could have gone either way.
That’s the whole point. Then you go into deliberations.
There were a few:
It was chilling,  confessions. They are quite hard to watch. If you only saw that, and you had nothing else to consider, yes it would be hard to find him not guilty.
But we’re told we are not supposed to judge a person only on his own words.
A confession is important evidence, but it’s not the only evidence. You need to corroborate it with other evidence in the case.

A flyer distributed by the New York Police Department of Etan Patz.Photo: AP/Stanley Patz
Something that was more chilling for me was the  Ramos interview  when Ramos  was trying to abduct a few kids in the tunnel where he lived. It’s chilling.

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Adam SiroisPhoto: John Roca
We watched every video multiple times in the deliberation room. You really hear him start to describe Etan Patz. For me, it was hard to get over that. For me, Ramos is a serious factor that needs to be considered.

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Pedro HernandezPhoto: AP
For me, the whole case kind of hinges on mental health, which factors into what I think are the false confessions — or at least the likelihood of false confessions being made by him.

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José RamosPhoto: AP
We heard testimony from both the defense expert witnesses — mental-health expert witnesses — and the prosecution witnesses.
First of all, false confessions do exist .  That’s one thing we had to consider.
The second factor was both mental-health witnesses for the defense and the prosecution [described] a series of factors that would make someone vulnerable to say a false confession.
It’s very difficult, for me, I’m not a mental-health expert . . . but actually I was asked by the jury, because of my public-health background , to kind of explain the mental-health issue to everyone.
I tried to do as best I could. I was often at the white board trying to explain how this could have happened. How this person could have broken down  confessed, in terms of that initial day.
That first day was really important — when he was taken to the CCPO  in Camden.
I tried to explain my thinking, my rationale to why I think mental health is such a big part in this case.
Everyone admitted he did have mental-health issues. We finally got there. It took a little while, but we finally got to the point where everyone admitted he did have mental-health issues. Some were less on the spectrum and some were more, but we agreed.

It really — you’d have to believe that the mental-health issues are strong enough to allow someone like Pedro to make this false confession, and I really felt that’s what happened with Mr. Hernandez.
There were days where I was definitely thinking, “I could vote guilty on this.”
But I have to say — several jurors came in with an opposite approach, and came in thinking he was guilty right off the bat, although they don’t want to say that sometimes. But it was evident the way they were speaking.

I knew if I started saying off the bat that I might think he’s guilty, too, it could have been over in a few days. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I wanted to force people to think — myself included.
People thanked me. Almost everyone thanked me, for not forcing them, but getting them to think a little differently about the case. A little bit differently about different facts, about what story could have happened, talking about other hypotheses.
I introduced some very reasonable hypotheses. I also put in some stories like, “What if this could have happened?”
Anything that happened to Etan Patz — whether it was Pedro Hernandez, if it was José Ramos, if it was another party we never knew about, whatever happened to Etan Patz that morning — is awful, but it’s also implausible. It’s incredible.
For me, there were moments — different days, different periods of time — when I could have gone either way.
 - Adam Sirois
Whatever happened is so terrible, so hard to understand what it could have been. Whether it’s Pedro or José or somebody else.

There were a few days there where people were definitely on my side because of the Ramos story. It was very, very challenging for a good number of the jurors.

The vast majority of time it  was very calm.

There were times when certain statements were made by some of the jurors. Some spoke a lot more than others, including myself. I spoke a lot.

There were some times when there were heated debates. They were not personal. 

There were times when I would ask, “How can you think that?” And they would ask me, “How can you think that?”
And you have to argue.

An example? One thing that sticks out for me that we did argue a lot about was the bag.
I didn’t feel the evidence was solid enough to vote guilty.
 - Adam Sirois
What happened to this bag? Would the police, would a detective like  Butler, who unfortunately passed away, [fail to find the bag]? We have evidence that shows at 7:30 in the morning they started the search in the core area.

And I don’t know why, but my fellow jurors — some of them — could not accept that the police did check in the bodega basement.
They were emphatic that we don’t have evidence to that — and we don’t. The search documents did not say specifically that they did search the bodega.

This is where you have to make sort of an inference from the evidence. To me, couldn’t be convinced that they wouldn’t have found the bag because the police didn’t search the basement where Etan was headed that morning to buy a soda with a dollar.

A lot of the things you have to believe for Pedro to be guilty just don’t add up. It doesn’t add up that they wouldn’t have found that bag. It doesn’t fit with the story.

That got heated sometimes. You almost have to want him to be guilty, in my opinion, to say the police could not have searched the bodega basement, it’s right at the bus stop where he was headed.

We have testimony from multiple police officers at the time that they looked in every nook and cranny where a body could fit.

I can’t believe the police would not have looked behind there and seen the bag.

In the end, they did get over that possibility of Ramos, to enough of a degree that it’s Pedro beyond a reasonable doubt... there was definitely a lot of doubt in that room for a long time.

It was obvious early on that some people were never going to change their vote. I wasn’t one of those. Although I’m sure some of my fellow jurors would say I was, but I wasn’t.

I didn’t ever change my vote — that’s true. I’m not absolutely sure that it’s not Pedro Hernandez. But that’s my how our legal system works.

I’m not sure that was clear to some of the jurors. It has to go beyond a reasonable doubt.

Either their threshold for a reasonable doubt is lower than mine, or they didn’t exactly get that point.

I don’t mean all of them, but I think there were one or two who I don’t think understood some of the charges we got from the judge.

It was 8-4,  6-6, although some jurors might not say it was 6-6, it was more like five unsures, unsure we decided was not guilty, plus me. It was 6-6 in my opinion. Then it went to 9-3, then 10-2, 10-2, 11-1.
It was 10-2 the day before Friday.

Doug  was with me. And he was arguing, and very eloquently arguing the points I had been making previously. At that point I was exhausted.

He was there for a while. We voted on Tuesday and hung the jury at 10-2. Doug, at that point, was ready to be in my situation basically.

So I thought going in Friday morning it was still going to be 10-2.
That morning Doug went into a really nice sort of speech about what he went through to get to where he was going to get, then he dropped the news that he was going to vote guilty.

I was surprised. It did rock me for a minute. I was shocked by it even. But I couldn’t change my mind just because Doug changed his.

I didn’t feel the evidence was solid enough to vote guilty.

I feel bad for  loss of Etan, of course.  I have no regrets of my decision on the case. They are two separate things.

It’s a horrible loss of Etan for the family but it would be a travesty also if I didn’t go with my conscience on this.


Sara said...

I was so happy to read that the lone juror voted his conscience. That is what a juror is supposed to do. It takes a lot of courage to do that.

Tania Cadogan said...

A juror has to vote on the evidence presented not their conscience.

Beyond reasonable doubt.

I would ask what was his definition of reasonable doubt?

Did he argue using the evidence and arguments presented in the court or did he come up with possibilities that were not introduced in court?
Was he introducing arguments and possible evidence that were not introduced and did not have any bearing to the case?

Does his conscience mean he would never have voted guilty regardless?

Does someones conscience preclude them from voting for death in a death penalty case, even though they said they would vote for death if the crime warranted it and there were sufficient aggravating circumstances and no mitigating circumstances?

Anonymous said...

I admire this lone juror. He's smart and strong in what he is saying.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

To conclude that he did not vote with his conscience, but has an agenda, we would need strong linguistic evidence.

There can be indications of sensitivity but a conclusion is something that must be drawn carefully.


I am glad to not encounter any rush or any very emphatic like comments.


Anonymous said...

Wow. He is so important to this case. He is like the Messiah of Jurors. But also so restrained. Like Jesus, He didn't force people to accept His will, His one truth path to enlightenment on this issue. It's a shame they didn't follow Him, because clearly as the informed 'not a mental health expert'He was, He had much to offer. It's good He was able to work whatever it was He worked out on the white board for them, or they might not actually have understood that this man was guilty. He was central to this case, and I for one feel lucky to have known Him, if only through this article, if only for a short time. It's what He would have wanted.

Sara said...

Tania, I disagree. Evidence is important, but not the most important. Jurors need to judge the evidence as well as the law. Though not applicable to this particular case, it is important for jurors to acquit in cases where the evidence proves the law was broken, but by their conscience determine that the law itself is unjust.
And in this particular case--what is the evidence? The words of the accused? Spoken directly after interrogation and words other people claimed he spoke. I'm disheartened that 11 people felt that was proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Remember JonBenet? Someone confessed to her murder also. But, he didn't do it, did he? False confessions are more common than many people would like to believe.

Unknown said...

For someone who suggests that some of his fellow jurors didn't understand the jury instructions, he is the one who appears to have misunderstood.

If what he says is true, that he provided his 'non expert' assessment of the defendant's mental state to the other jurors, and posed alternate possibilities not supported by the evidence, (including the idea that 'the bag' was not found, simply because he believes the detectives WOULD HAVE searched the area, etc...then HE actually violated the jury instructions.

Jurors may only consider evidence and testimony that was presented during the trial. Jurors can use their common sense, and life experiences to weigh the evidence presented, but they can NOT present their own 'evidence' to the other jurors as he describes, (lecturing them about his experiences with 'mental health', and seeking to convince them of the defendant's mental issues, and 'finally' get them to 'admit' that he has mental issues). Nor can they present or consider alternate/imagined theories not supported by the evidence. (that it could have been someone else they don't know about, that logically they must have searched the area, but didn't find the bag, etc.)

What he describes sounds as if he took it upon himself to disprove the guilt of the defendant, which is different from starting from an presumption of innocence.

As for the idea that he 'voted his conscience', that may also be inappropriate depending on what issue was on his conscience. If he means that he didn't allow himself to be swayed to change his vote because he legitimately believes that the defendant is innocent, then good for him. However, if voting his conscience means that he felt it wasn't his place 'to judge', (as one juror on a famous trial previously stated) or if he voted in consideration of the possible sentence, (which is forbidden during the guilt phase), or if he came in with a preformed opinion of innocence and refused to consider ANYTHING as proof of guilt, then he wasted the time and resources of the court, and his fellow jurors. (In violation of his oath as a juror.)

The fact that he gave a long interview (45 min) suggests an agenda, and a need to publicly discuss/justify his position. It's also hard to dismiss the fact that 11 other people who heard the same evidence came to one conclusion, while he came to an opposite, (more sensational conclusion) which he wants to share with the public.

Unknown said...

Some concerning statements:

"It was chilling,  confessions. They are quite hard to watch. If you only saw that, and you had nothing else to consider, yes it would be hard to find him not guilty".

-He seems to reveal that his intention was to find him not gulity, and states that considering certain evidence would make it hard to do so.


"There were a few days there where people were definitely on MY SIDE because of the Ramos story. It was very, very challenging for a good number of the jurors."

- Here he takes ownership of 'MY SIDE'. His side being that the defendant was not guilty. He then says it was "very, very challenging" for some of the jurors that 'people' were on his side. This suggests that he saw himself as the opposition of the 'jurors', as he defines those on 'his side' as 'people'.


"I knew if I started saying off the bat that I might think he’s guilty, too, it could have been over in a few days. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I wanted to force people to think — myself included.

"People thanked me. Almost everyone thanked me, for not forcing them, but getting them to think a little differently about the case. A little bit differently about different facts, about what story could have happened, talking about other hypotheses."

"I introduced some very reasonable hypotheses. I also put in some stories like, “What if this could have happened?”

-He suggests that he sees himself as the pivotal player in the deliberations. He assumes control of the length of the deliberations, stating that he knew it could be over quickly, but he "wasn't going to let that happen".

-The words 'force people" enter his language regarding the deliberations.

-He self congratulates on his 'very reasonable hypothesis, and paints himself as the hero of the deliberations, as he claims he forced/got people to think differently about things. (*Apparently NOT, as ALL of the jurors voted contrary to this assertion!)


"Doug was with me. And he was arguing, and very eloquently arguing the points I had been making previously. At that point I was exhausted."

He was there for a while. We voted on Tuesday and hung the jury at 10-2. Doug, at that point, was ready to be in my situation basically

-He praises 'Doug' for eloquently arguing HIS points, and then states that they voted and "hung the jury at 10-2". That he uses the phrase "hung the jury" is unexpected to me, unless that was his objective. If they were still deliberating and voting, (which he confirms in the next paragraph) then this statement doesn't make sense. Deliberations and votes are ongoing until the Judge declares the jury hung.


-There is language that suggests that this juror has an agenda, including that he refers to the defendant by his first name more than once, proposes hypothesis that he admits have no basis in evidence, (about the bag, unknown suspects) his 'my side' comment, and comment about hanging the jury, and his seeking out the media spotlight. However, the content of the interviewer's questions could provide additional context, so I would want to see the full interview before drawing a conclusion.

Sus said...

I see it differently. It seems he listened to the trial with the presumption of innocence. He placed the burden of proof on the prosecution where it should be.

There were three "factors" he spells out that gave him reasonable doubt.
- Ramos
- What he believed to be false confessions
- Etan's bag was never found, though Hernandez stated in confession he left it in the bodega basement.

The part of the interview that is sensitive is where the juror speaks of deliberations. that may be from feeling pressure through that time and now.

impulsive said...

What I don't understand as far as the bag issue is - if this man believes that the confession was false, why/how can he believe what the guy said about the bag (in his confession) ?

John Mc Gowan said...


Baltimore Officers Charged In Freddie Gray Death Want Case Dismissed

John Mc Gowan said...


Morgan Freeman Supports Legalisation Of Marijuana, Revealing That He'll ‘Eat, Drink, Smoke, Snort' The Drug


Morgan Freeman has weighed in on the on-going debate about the legalisation of marijuana, revealing that he takes the drug for pain relief.

On both sides of the Atlantic, there has been plenty of talk over whether marijuana, commonly referred to as weed, should be legalised.

In California, medical marijuana is legal, and Morgan has now explained his reasons for using the drug, stating that he takes it to relieve the pain from a previous car accident.

In 1997, Morgan was involved in a serious car crash, that shattered his left shoulder, arm and elbow.

The Daily Beast explains that - despite four hours of surgery - he has not fully recovered and does not have full use of his left hand.

“I have fibromyalgia pain in this arm, and the only thing that offers any relief is marijuana,” he tells the website. “They’re talking about kids who have grand mal seizures, and they’ve discovered that marijuana eases that down to where these children can have a life.

“That right there, to me, says, ‘Legalise it across the board!’”

“They used to say, ‘You smoke that stuff, boy, you get hooked!’” he continues. “My first wife got me into it many years ago. How do I take it? However it comes! I’ll eat it, drink it, smoke it, snort it! This movement is really a long time coming, and it’s getting legs - longer legs.

“Now, the thrust is understanding that alcohol has no real medicinal use.

Maybe if you have one drink it’ll quiet you down, but two or three and you’re fucked.”

As you’d expect, plenty of Morgan’s fans have taken to Twitter to discuss his comments...

Nolachurch said...

This is ridiculous IMO, I can understand why the other 11 jurors are outraged. He isn't worried about justice for an innocent man, he's worried about getting exposure for himself or some other agenda. It almost appears like a magazine layout/interview/composite sheet for a guy trying to "make it" in the biz w/ his cheesy couple of pics to boot. The only words I gathered from this interview were "Me,Myself,I & My"... His narcissism got in the way, clearly, he's unable to see any further than his own face.

Anonymous said...

He says he didn't vote with his conscience. It's embedded. He also says the evidence is solid, but he just didn't "feel like".

I noticed he also uses the first name of the defendant. Along with a lot of me, and I..

Sus said...

Yes, there are a couple embedded confessions...where he struggles with the thought that Hernandez did it.

But he clearly has reasonable doubt which overrides a guilty vote for him. That's what the entire article is saying.

Even though the juror might think Hernandez is guilty, he had enough reasonable doubt not to vote that way. In other words, the defense caught the one juror the needed by introducing Ramos video interviews and false confession testimony.

On a side note, I am surprised the prosecution approved a juror in the mental health field.

Second side note: I'm doubly surprised Ramos wasn't a problem for more jurors. All I can think is the defense was allowed limited information on him, not the two-thirds confession, nor the fact Ramos was found liable for Etan's death by a Civil Court.

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

A man who was raped at gunpoint by three well-dressed South African women intent on harvesting his sperm today described the 'disbelief, shock and pain' at falling victim to such a bizarre attack.

The 33-year-old from Zimbabwe, who is now too scared to leave his home, sobbed as he told MailOnline of the sustained attack in South Africa a week ago.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was walking in the Kwazakhele township, Port Elizabeth just before 8am when the evil trio pulled up in a black BMW and asked him for directions.

As he began to speak, one of the women put a gun to his head and ordered him into the car.

'We only drove for a few minutes to a quieter place where they did what they wanted to do to me,' he told MailOnline in a faltering voice, taking regular breaks to cry.

'They told me that they didn't want my money or to hurt me, they said "what we want from you is your semen". I couldn't understand what they were saying to me, it didn't make sense.

'Then I soon knew that they were very serious and I felt very scared and just could not do what they wanted me to do.

'One of them, she was the youngest one, started to get angry with me and screamed and shouted at me. One of the other women told her to stop frightening me as I would not be able to get an erection if I was scared.'

The victim said one of the women was speaking in isiXhosa - one of South Africa's 11 official languages - and the other two spoke in English. Each was wearing a long gown.

'When I couldn't do what they ordered me to do, they got some powder from one of their handbags and emptied it into a plastic bottle of water and mixed it,' he explained.

'It didn't taste of anything strong. They made me take that drink five times. I was with them for about 40 minutes in total.

'Once they had got all the semen they could get from me, which they collected in a bag, they packed it in a cooler box.

'Then they just shouted at me to get out of the car and drove away fast. I was in a lot of pain and shock. I still am.'

One of the officers investigating the man's story said the semen may have been stolen for use as 'muti' - traditional medicine.

Constable Mncedi Mbombo told MailOnline: 'We have no idea why anyone would do this. Taking the sperm for muti is a possible motive that we will consider.

'There can be a demand for sperm in traditional medicines. The potion the women gave this man to make him stronger possibly may also have been some muti they had prepared, or bought for this purpose.

'I have experience in investigating other muti crimes, where private parts were stolen for witchcraft, but this is the first time I have heard of semen being stolen.

'We are looking at links with other reported crimes that have similarities.'

The quiet, well-spoken, smartly-dressed victim, sells brooms and other household items door-to-door to raise funds to send back to his parents and siblings in Zimbabwe, where jobs opportunities under despot Robert Mugabe are scarce.

He is unmarried and has no children of his own. He claims that since the attack almost a week ago, he has hardly dared to leave the room he rents the township on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.

He added: 'I haven't told anyone about what happened to me, only the police. How can I tell any friends about this? Or my family at home? I am fortunate that I just live alone and can suffer without speaking of it.

'I am now on pain medication, but I feel scared to go on the street in case something else bad happens to me.

Tania Cadogan said...

'I don't know if the police will find these women, I don't understand why they did what they did but they have got away with it.

'I am trying to stay positive and just focus on feeling thankful that I am still alive. But what they did was very wrong and I hope that god will punish them, I hope he is the one who will deal with them.'

A handful of similar crimes have been reported in Johannesburg, more than 1000 miles from Port Elizabeth, a coastal town at the end of South Africa's famous Garden Route.

However, in the victim's native Zimbabwe, which borders South Africa, sensational reports have emerged in recent years about gangs of women targeting male victims in order to harvest their sperm.

Reports of women using drugs, guns, knives and even a live snake to overpower their prey first surfaced six years ago, but only a handful of arrests have ever been made.

In 2012, three women were picked up by police and found in possession of 31 full condoms following attacks on 17 men.

Professor Anthony Minnar, from the School of Criminal Justice at the University of South Africa, is an expert on crimes associated with African traditional medicine – or witchcraft as it is sometimes called.

He said: 'Body parts are taken from people murdered for the purposes of preparing strong muti by sangomas [traditional healers] who obviously can charge more for those types of medicines.

'Although I have not heard of semen being stolen, I imagine sangomas might be able to charge more from their clients if they can say that live human specimens are being used that make it strong muti.

'Human elements are worth more financially to the sangomas than just animal or plan elements.'

Read more:

How can he know they have gotten away with it?

Unknown said...

Hi Sus,

He actually says that he ISN'T a mental health professional. He says that he has a "public health background", (whatever that means.) I would love to know what his actual job is, and I bet he is no more qualified to assess mental health than any other juror, despite his lecturing.

Sus said...

Agreed Jen. I would like to know his job, also. He certainly was swayed by the defense experts on false confessions. You can tell by his order of stating it. He also tells us there was quite a "discussion" before the other jurors "admitted" it. False confessions by the mentally ill is a big issue for him.

It all comes to my original point, though...this and Ramos caused him to have reasonable doubt.

I like how he went it to it with the presumption of he listened to the testimony with that same presumption. He put the burden of the unexpected on the prosecution where it should lie. And

Sus said...

I apologize for my constant typos. I post from my phone. But also, my thoughts get ahead of my typing and you can see I skip words. I don't know what that says about me. Please just fill in necessary articles and conjunctions. Haha.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

The language does not justify a conclusion that this juror acted out of self interest.

Everyone likes attention, but there is not enough in the language to show that he was driven, or motivated, by the inevitable attention he received, or anticipated receiving afterwards.

Even if he should write a book, or seek to cash in, in this edited interview, we do not have enough to make a conclusion.

If the unedited version is printed, this could change, but we have only this statement to work from.

Also, have you seen any portions of the confession?

This juror may be incorrect in his understanding of the judge's directions, or even the law, but it is that we were looking to learn if, specifically, this was something he intended to do:

an agenda.

Some of you have made some excellent points and my hope was that readers who have some years experience would see the complexity of the "gray" areas, in which sensitivity is indicated but it may not have been due to agenda, but other influences, including pressure.

I have read here some insightful, thought provoking points of view.

Good work!


John Mc Gowan said...

'We only drove for a few minutes to a quieter place where they did what they wanted to do to me

What was it hey wanted to do?

'They told me that they didn't want my money or to hurt me, they said "what we want from you is your semen". I couldn't understand what they were saying to me, it didn't make sense.

'Then I soon knew that they were very serious and I felt very scared and just could not do what they wanted me to do.

When I couldn't do what they ordered me to do, they got some powder from one of their handbags and emptied it into a plastic bottle of water and mixed it,' he explained.

'It didn't taste of anything strong. They made me take that drink five times. I was with them for about 40 minutes in total.

'Then they just shouted at me to get out of the car and drove away fast. I was in a lot of pain and shock. I still am.'

I am now on pain medication, but I feel scared to go on the street in case something else bad happens to me.

I am trying to stay positive and just focus on feeling thankful that I am still alive. But what they did was very wrong and I hope that god will punish them,

Unknown said...

I just realized the irony of this statement in the context of false confessions. Sirois may have demonstrated his point in a more compelling way than he realized, lol.

"I tried to do as best I could. I was often at the white board trying to explain how this could have happened. How this person could have broken down  confessed, in terms of that initial day.

I tried to explain my thinking to why I think mental health is such a big part in this case.

Everyone ADMITTED he did have mental-health issues. We FINALLY got there. It took a little while, but we FINALLY got to the point where everyone ADMITTED he did have mental-health issues. Some were less on the spectrum and some were more, but we agreed."

Carnival Barker said...

Even though I'm from Jersey, I didn't follow this trial very closely because I wasn't sure that they had the right man. When I saw this article and read that the other jurors said the holdout juror was "delusional," I was not expecting to read any of his reasoning that made sense or seemed well-thought out. I was wrong. I think it takes a lot of courage to do what he did if you truly believe that you'd be sending an innocent man to prison.

Incidentally, for years and years Etan Patz's parents were convinced that Ramos was their son's murderer. They won a civil judgment against him, and every year on Etan's birthday (and I believe also the anniversary of his disappearance) his father would send Ramos a picture of Etan and write on the back of it "What have you done to my son?" I wonder if he stopped doing that since Hernandez confessed. I think that would say a lot.

CarlaP said...

I think this juror is a bit of an arrogant attention seeker, though I'm glad he did hold out. A confession from a man who has an IQ of 67, suffers from mental illness, 30+ yrs after the crime after being interrogated by police for over 6 hrs (not filmed or recorded despite the capability for it at the station it occurred in)leaves a lot of reasonable doubt. His confessions (I believe there were 2 official ones made) have various contradictions, conflicting statements and are not backed by evidence or facts. Etan's body has never been found, the backpack he claimed he hid in the basement was never found despite the bodega he worked at being thoroughly searched and was the base of the investigation in the neighborhood after Etan disappeared. This man has suffered from delusions throughout his life, and it seems plausible that he could have convinced himself that he was guilty considering he was in the area at the time and had contact with Etan (I believe Etan had bought a can of soda there the day of). False confessions are not rare, especially when made under duress and especially from mentally ill and low IQ suspects. The Central Park Jogger case and West Memphis Three are just two high profile cases that resulted in convictions based on false confessions. The only thing less reliable are eyewitness accounts. Ramos has been held accountable in the civil case and from all angles is most likely the one responsible, unfortunately he has done nothing but torment the family, so we'll probably never the get truth of what really happened.

Sara said...

The prosecution could not even PROVE young Etan is dead. Think about it. How do we know the boy is even deceased? There is no blood evidence, no body, Remember Steven Staynor? The Cleveland kidnappings? Can you see how someone could have been wrongly prosecuted for these "murders"?
I am not convinced the boy is dead.

Sus said...

I have not seen Hernandez's confessions, though I have read parts. It is troubling that at different times he said he killed a black boy; that he killed a boy because he threw a ball at him (which Etan was not known to be carrying); he left Etan's bag filled with crayons, pencils and cars in the basement never to be found by the owner, workers or police. I believe Hernandez once said that he killed a boy because that boy wanted to have sex with him.

I do know that Hernandez was questioned by police for hours before they began recording their confession.

I also read that the former detectives, prosecutor, and FBI testified for the defense...about Ramos.

impulsive said...

Well from this article:

I get the feeling that maybe this juror DID do the right thing. Wow.

Sara said...

There are striking similarities to a case of wrongful conviction in Michigan. Jamie Lee Peterson spent 17 years in prison for rape and murder. He confessed and according to police "knew details of the crime only the perpetrator would know." Well, that's not true, the perpetrator AND THE POLICE. Peterson also suffered from mental illness and had a low IQ. The appeals court order, in their ruling, referenced how common false confession are within this subset (mental illness and low IQ).

Statement Analysis Blog said...


a false confession does not come from experiential memory and when analyzed, reveals

"Deception Indicated"

I have volunteered for various innocence advocacy groups and analyzed confessions.

When the confession comes from experiential memory, veracity is indicated and the advocate no longer thinks my work useful.

This juror, like any of us, enjoyed the spotlight, but did not hold out due to fame, a la the Casey Anthony jurors who said,

"I can tell that she did it, but the State didn't prove it" begging the question:

"Then how did you know she did it?"

Anonymous said...

I think this "thick-headed, full of himself" juror intended from the beginning to vote not guilty, then spent the next seventeen days trying to get other jurors won over to his side.

I don't think he ever seriously considered finding the accused not guilty and looked for ways throughout the entire deliberation to prove himself right, holding out to the end.

I think he's really proud of himself, being the lone "not-guilty" deal breaker, proving that he alone could call the shots, and did.

Anonymous said...

Oooooops... I meant to say that I don't think this juror ever seriously considered finding the defendant guilty; that he had planned to vote not guilty from the beginning. Just my thoughts.

Sara said...

Peter, thanks for your input.
The only thing I would add about confessions would be whether it is in the perpetrator's handwriting or typed up by the detective. I would trust the analysis of the confessors own hand writing. But, if the confession is a "transcript" by the detective, then I would still have doubts as to whether the detective added/omitted pronouns/words. The confession would still be a truthful rendition of the confessors confession, but may inadvertently alter the exact statement and this would impact the analysis.. For example, the accused might confess "I did it, bashed her head in", and transcribed might read "I did it. I bashed her head in."

Pleasestanddownsir said...

I believe you do have to weigh his mental illness heavily as a false confession possibility, if that part is true. However, there is too much narcissism, too much gloating, grandstanding, aggrandizement, visual illustrations of himself teaching struggling jurors about something he is not an expert in...yet there he is at the whiteboard, there he is with the challenging...he physically locates himself in the room and their reactions...why is that so important? It makes him look superior and implies that he was more intelligent and open minded and wouod have died on the cross for justice. He wants YOU to find him guilty of having a righteous conscience and soul. This was not about that young boy for him.
If you are the lone holdout, wouodn't it suffice to say, I'm so very sorry for Ethan's family, I kniw they wanted closure, but when reviewing the evidence I had substantial reasonable doubt and I did not believe that convicting him was justice. I feel this way because (give a few brief legitimate reasons and not wild imaginings or even your conclusions, just unanswered questions) and wrap it up? I didn't even gave to stand at the white board for that. And I DO know a lot about mental health.

Anonymous said...

Stan Patz: "He's a delightful boy, anyone would want him and that's (little laugh here) the probability. He's beautiful, he's also as beautiful as a little boy could get."

This couple is creepy. In EVERY interview they have given, they have behaved and spoken in a way that innocent and grieving parents do not. I do not like the father's words and I do not like the mother's demeanor. I believe they are responsible for their son's disappearance.