PHOENIX -- As deliberations continue in the murder trial of Jodi Arias, 3TV is getting insight into what goes on during deliberations from someone who has been in that exact position.
“It was not the 12 angry men you saw in the movies; it was real good communication,” said Howard Sutton, a past juror in the trial of Phoenix serial shooter Dale Hausner. Hausner, who now sits on Arizona’s death row, was convicted of killing six people in a crime spree that left the Valley in fear in 2005 and 2006.
“I have no qualms about what we did," Sutton said. "I think we did the right thing.”
Sutton recalls his jury took about two and a half weeks to deliberate. They had dozens of counts to consider.
“We had the whole room filled; each count had its own paper,” Sutton recalled. “We put down why he was guilty, why he was innocent.”
Sutton described a meticulous process in the jury room. He said after choosing a foreman, jurors devised a deliberations plan, then discussed, debated and compared notes.
He imagines Jodi Arias jurors are doing much the same. The two cases have some striking similarities. Both Hausner and Arias gave jailhouse interviews and both took the stand in their own defense.
Multiple jurors told 3TV’s Mike Watkiss that was a turning point in the trial, during a special report when all the Hausner jurors sat down with Watkiss in 2009.
Sutton said the group bonded in the jury room and even managed to keep a sense of humor, despite the stress.
“Nobody got mad,” Sutton said. He remembered only one day which became heated in the jury room; an issue they managed to resolve by the next morning.
Outside of the courthouse, Sutton said jurors cannot dwell on the case.
“It’s like a nurse or doctor in the hospital, you dwell on what’s going on, you’re going to be a wreck,” he said.
As for the Arias verdict, Sutton told 3TV, “If I had to guess, maybe second degree, maybe manslaughter, but I won’t be surprised with first degree either … I can see it both ways.”