With NBC News now confirming that juror No. 2 is the Jackson jury foreperson, MSNBC's Lisa Daniels discussed with jury consultant Marshall Hennington about how his influence will affect how the jury will operate and whether No. 2 can control the jury.
To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video clip, click above.
Lisa Daniels: Marshall, if you look ... here's what we know about juror number two. He's a male in his sixties, he's retired and he hasn't read anything about the Jackson case before the trial began. He worked as a school counselor before retiring. He thinks the media plays too big a role in stories they cover. Marshall, analyzing a jury is not a science but more of an art. Given your experience what you analysis of juror number two being the foreperson.
Marshall Hennington: Well, at least he's had experience dealing with people, that's the main thing. This individual's a counselor, he's retired, he's got life experiences, and he's not very impressionable. He's going to be analytical. He's going to be methodical in terms of actually allowing each person a certain about of time to give input which is a great things because jurors in this process would want to include everyone in the process and not have one particular foreman monopolize the entire deliberation process.
Daniels: Marshall, as you know the forepersons have to have some sort of control over the jurors because they're going to be arguing with each other. There's going to be a lot of debate and he's going to have to facilitate that debate from his statistics. Does he look like he's the type of man who has the authority to move his jury along?
Hennington: Again, I don't know this person individually. What we see on paper is one thing but based on the description of the person, it's a good thing he has experience in dealing with people.
He also appears to be someone that will be inclusive and he won't be so controlling. He allows everyone to have some type of input. The main thing we're talking about is this is a person who has children. This is a person who is retired. That in itself is interesting because what is this case about?
It's about allegedly Michael Jackson molesting children. How much of his own personal bias as a foreperson is going to play a part in the entire deliberation process and is he gong to try to manipulate the jurors into believing his viewpoint is the best route to take. And also, if the individual should voice that particular viewpoint, I don't necessarily think that because of the fact he has children makes him someone that is going to be very controlling. However, it's going to be interesting to see how much of his own personal bias plays a role in the deliberation process.
Daniels: One of the skills of a jury consultant, as you know Marshall, is that you're supposed to be looking at the statistics of people and extrapolating from them, whether they will be pro one way or pro the other way just based on the statistics and I know I'm asking you to speculate. Given your knowledge and your background, do you think juror number two is more pro-Jackson given the fact that he has children or does he seem pro prosecution to you?
Hennington: Just because of the fact that he has children does not statistically make it so that he will side one way or another. This is someone where we have to think in terms of his life experiences; education and entertainment. Now the fact that he's retired at this particular point or that or the fact that he's been a counselor in the past or that he has children. All of these things make this individual able to deal with people.
I don't necessarily know if statistics play a part at this particular point with respect as to the way this particular person is going to vote or how much control he's going to have over the jurors.
Certainly, based on prior research, we also understand that people that have children tend to be a lot more sympathetic to children's issues, needs and concerns.
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