PHOENIX -- If there is one man in the United States who might know what is going through the minds of the jurors now deliberating in the Jodi Arias murder trial, it is Richard Gabriel.
Gabriel, a trial consultant with Decision Analysis, out of California, has worked alongside lawyers, including helping to pick the jury in some of the biggest cases in United States history.
“O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony, Phil Spector, Heidi Fleiss, Kwame Kilpatrick,” Gabriel said, naming some of the cases in which he has participated.
As a trial consultant, Gabriel drafts jury questionnaires, conducts mock trials, and helps develop strategies for legal teams.
“A lot of the times, it is helping to develop a profile for who would be a good and bad juror for the defendant,” he said.
As far as the Arias murder trial is concerned, Gabriel has a long list of juror qualities that he would consider negative for the defense.
“Anybody that has heard a lot about the case,” Gabriel said, “Anyone who is pro-law enforcement, or has a black-and-white view of the world, there is good and there is evil.”
Gabriel also said a juror who is skeptical of psychological defenses would be negative for the defense.
Gabriel did note some potential positive jurors for the Arias defense.
“People who know people who’ve been abused,” he said, “People who understand that sometimes a relationship, such as the one between Travis [Alexander] and Jodi, really could be very complicated.”
He also said the Arias defense team should have selected jurors that have strong personalities.
“The defense sometimes, when they have very difficult evidence, such as in the Jodi Arias case, they’re looking for hold-out jurors. They’re looking for jurors who have personalities that may be contrarian, people who are not easy to move, who are lone wolves, who have very independent views and are very difficult to reach a consensus with,” Gabriel said.
The reason? A unanimous agreement on a first-degree murder charge becomes more difficult.
“It they don’t necessarily cause a hung jury, they may be able to negotiate past that first-degree count,” Gabriel said.
Little is known about the Arias jurors, except that the 12 who will reach a verdict in the case are comprised of eight men and four women.
“Demographics are usually the worst predictor of jury behavior,” Gabriel said.
However, he did indicate that the makeup of the jury may hold some clues into Arias’ future.
“We do know that women are more critical of other women, based on past experiences,” Gabriel said, “It may be more difficult for male jurors, not impossible, but more difficult, to look at a young woman like Jodi and say I’m willing to give her the death penalty.”