Potential juror misconduct

The Menendez brothers were convicted of first-degree murder on March 20, 1996. The penalty phase of the trial began on March 27. On April 3, defense attorney Leslie Abramson stated in court that the defense was “very concerned about a matter.” The “matter” being that:
“The ‘National Enquirer’ of April 9, 1996 has a story in it, which in the way it reads, would indicate and make you believe that a member or members of the jury has discussed deliberations and certain opinions and conclusions that the jury came to with someone, whether the reporter for the ‘National Enquirer’ directly, or with someone else, who then gave the information to the Enquirer. We think this requires investigation. I’m not sure how to go about it. But if it is true, that the impression from this story is that one of the jurors have been talking, that is clearly misconduct of the worst sort.”

Lyle’s attorney, Charles Gessler, chimed in and said, “It is the side bar portion we are concerned with.”

The magazine was marked as Exhibit 462, and a brief “in camera” hearing was held but the transcript of the hearing was ordered sealed by Judge Weisberg.

The side bar portion of the article reads as follows: [PHOTO]

INSIDE THE JURY ROOM

Why they were finally convicted

Like their ambushed parents, the Menendez brothers had no way to escape once the jury at Trial No. 2 set its sights on them.

At Lyle and Erik’s first trial two years ago, their sob stories of abuse led to a hung jury – but this time around the deadly duo didn’t have a single supporter in the jury room.

In a world exclusive, The ENQUIRER has learned that the no-nonsense panel cited three reasons for convicting the savage siblings of first-degree murder.

REASON 1: Lyle and Erik were grown and had fancy cars. If they were horribly abused by their parents, why didn’t they just run away?

“This question was raised in the jury room during deliberations – and no juror offered an answer,” said an insider.

“The brothers weren’t prisoners. They weren’t hostages. The jury simply didn’t believe the ‘abuse excuse.'”

REASON 2: Right after the murders, Lyle and Erik went on a spending spree with their parents’ life insurance money – behavior that was “disgusting” to jury members.

“All the jurors found this was proof of the cold-blooded nature of the killings,” revealed the insider.

REASON 3: The brothers bought the murder weapons in another town, using a driver’s license stolen from a friend. This “proved beyond all doubt” that the slaughter of their parents was planned in advance, said the insider.

“The jurors all agreed this was a premeditated murder by two spoiled rich kids who wanted their parents’ money.

“The Menendez brothers spent a fortune trying to get away with murder – but from the second this jury began deliberations, Lyle and Erik were cooked!”

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Being a non-American, I am not all too familiar with the National Enquirer. Based on a little googling, it appears that the Enquirer generally isn’t considered to be a reliable source.

Obviously, as Leslie Abramson told the court, if a juror has been talking about the guilt phase deliberations while the trial is still ongoing, it would be “misconduct of the worst sort.” Whether the defense ever did any post-trial investigation regarding the matter is unknown to me. What I do know is that it was not an issue raised on appeal.

Make of it what you will. Personally, I think “the insider” is just stating his or her own speculations, opinions and conclusions.

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