Part 3: Tyco Juror No. 4

Read More Of <B>Rather's</B> Interview With Ruth Jordan

Read Part III of Tyco Juror No. 4 Ruth Jordan's interview with Dan Rather on 60 Minutes II.
RATHER: We were talking about-- the foreperson of the jury is speaking for the jury--

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: --and I think at the jury's request-- who sent-- two requests to the judge for advice (PH). One, and the one we were discussing, said that the atmosphere in the jury room had turned poisonous. There was one juror who had stopped deliberating in good faith. Said juror believes they are being persecuted. And then the jury-- the foreperson went on to say--

JORDAN: I never really understood the "they" in there. Said juror believes "they." Now who is the "they"?

RATHER: The defendants.

JORDAN: The defendants.

RATHER: Yes. Clearly that was the meaning--

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: And then further down said the majority was-- believed we could reach a fair conclusion without the presence of this juror. And then went on to ask the judge you know, "What do we do?"

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: Now--

JORDAN: Can I interrupt you right there--

RATHER: It's not an interruption. I wanted (PH) you to put that in context--

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: --and give me some perspective on--

JORDAN: I think that this was a letter of some desperate frustration. Because nothing was going anyplace. And-- it is my opinion they would not be able to deliberate without my presence. Eleven of them would do no better than they did with me-- maybe a little better.

But because it was clear that I was much further over to the decision that they -- still innocent, not yet proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in my mind. Whereas the other-- the spectrum of the, of the decisions of all of the jurors-- at the very beginning one juror had said, "Let's go around the table here and see where we all are and people voice their opinions."

And I was, I think they are so far not proven guilty, all the way (PH) on any of the counts. The others were leaning-- I believe, if I remember correctly-- leaning toward guilt, but had some reservations about some others. And then there was one who was convinced they were completely guilty and everything all the way. So it was a whole range of it.

RATHER: You mind telling me who that juror was?

JORDAN: I'm not really sure that I really want to. Because I think that's maybe up to him. And one of my heartfelt feelings about this whole controversy that has come up here after this mistrial, is that I don't like the idea of this-- finger-pointing and naming and stuff, and getting into a public bickering.

I don't think it serves any good useful, truthful, benign purpose. I think that what happens is that one juror says something. And then it's taken to another. And he's inflamed and says something back. And they go further. And it gets into a firestorm that just builds louder and louder.

And a lot of the time the things that are said are taken out of context. They are misconstrued. They're not accurately reported. They're exaggerated. And they're not even accurate. And out of it has come this whirling storm, this little hurricane here. And I don't think-- it doesn't-- what good is this doing?

RATHER: I take your point. And I respect it.

JORDAN: Yeah. It's harmful to everybody. And-- the whole thing--

RATHER: But you were said that-- you said that the first time went around the table--

JORDAN: Uh-huh (AFFIRM).

RATHER: --and somebody said, "Well let's just get a sense of where we are." That you were-- I believe you used the word "firmly." If I'm incorrect--

JORDAN: It was firmly. Yeah.

RATHER: --firmly in the category of, "They have not proven guilt."

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: Not a-- necessarily matter of innocence. It was they-- if not proven guilty, which they had to do-- and I (UNINTEL PHRASE) proven guilty-- that everyone else around the table in one way or the other-- you thought was--

JORDAN: Were leaning toward guilt. A great many of them were. But I can't tell you that one exactly accurately. Because I-- that's my impression-- that they were leaning toward guilt.

RATHER: Fair enough. But you said there was one man who was putting--

JORDAN: Convinced of the guilt. He was convinced.

RATHER: Well-- and I take your point, respect it, that you don't want to get into name calling (UNINTEL). But as a reporter, as a journalist, I'm going to assume that was juror number 11, who wrote the article in "Time Magazine."

JORDAN: No (PH).

RATHER: Wasn't?

JORDAN: Uh-uh (NEGATIVE).

RATHER: Alright. That's the reason reporters don't act on their assumptions.

JORDAN: Yeah, you shouldn't. Yeah.

RATHER: Right.

JORDAN: So I'm going to say one more thing, Dan, is that, what I learned and saw quite before the deliberations began, those jurors were saying-- several of them were saying, "I have to get out of here. I can't stand this another day. Why don't they finish? Let me out."

I mean they were expression quite severe degrees of desperation to get out of this process that they were in. And each time the-- prosecution brought out another ledger, where there's 27 columns of numbers, and writing down, "Do you see this? Do you see that?" And they were just going to sleep.

And that, I think they were just groaning, "What do we need this for?" Some of them were saying, "What-- in six months they can't make their point?" You know, "What-- what are we doing here?" And they were really-- and they named a lot of the-- deprivations.

Some people had lost bonuses, lost promotions. One juror was very upset about having lost six months of companionship with his small children. Another juror was expec-- his wife was expecting a baby in weeks. Another one worked on commissions, was losing her commissions and losing her clients.

And I mean there were all kinds of expressions of real deprivation. But I don't mean that they were being-- (UNINTEL PHRASE) about it. I think they went into it knowing that there would be sacrifices. And believe me, (LAUGHTER) jury duty is a lot more serious sacrifice than I had ever imagined--

RATHER: I want to get back to--

JORDAN: --but that I'm trying to say that--

RATHER: Sure.

JORDAN: --simply because I wanted to say that the pressure was there before it even began.

RATHER: Now what are the chances, in your opinion and knowing what happened in the jury room, that you by your words and action, began to bring some of the jurors in your direction?

JORDAN: In what way did I?

RATHER: No. Is it your assessment that that happened to some degree or not?

JORDAN: Yes. I think that I actually did persuade-- at least I can think of at least two of the counts-- when my view of the evidence, that it established that they were not guilty because they had good reason to believe they were entitled to be doing what they were doing.

And it was even documented in the evidence. And I think that I think I did succeed in persuading a couple of them. But I can't take credit for (UNINTEL) it all alone, because I think some other people had-- well, let me see. At that particular-- no, no, no-- I think some are ready to be persuaded already of those two that I'm thinking of. It (PH) had to do with the relocation loans.

RATHER: Let me bring you now to near the end, just before the mistrial was declared. It's Thursday afternoon. It's nearing five o'clock, which is your usual break-off time for deliberations, right?

JORDAN: Uh-huh (AFFIRM).

RATHER: True or untrue that on at least two counts, that there was a sense in the room that maybe unanimity could be reached on those two counts?

JORDAN: On at least two.

RATHER: Right. True?

JORDAN: Very hard to answer. Because we had-- I believe-- Thursday afternoon, I believe-- oh, oh, yes. I guess I would have to say yes to that. Because there were two in which there was unanimous agreement on acquittal.

Two of those (UNINTEL). There were five or six others in which I thought we had come to unanimous agreement on acquittal. There were several that were hung. And then something else had happened. After the, "We can't continue" note to the judge, "What should we do?" And the judge had said, "You can't respect the court." And also said that you can't do what is the jury's (LAUGHTER) job to do, which is to come to a verdict.

And he sent us back. And we talked it over. And he-- I think he said, "Go back and decide among yourselves, do you think you can continue." We did. That was Friday afternoon. We did and everybody said, "Okay, let's give it one more try." Because everybody was-- all the jurors, not just myself, were all so aware (PH) that-- so we went back to try again.

And over the weekend, this stuff came out on there (PH) and I spoke to the judge. He-- he called me in because-- oh, I-- I told him I had the phone call. That's what happened. And then I told the judge. And he-- and I spoke to him in chambers. And-- I hope I'm supposed to be able to say this. I don't know.

But in any event I did say to him, "Maybe I am being unreasonable. Maybe I have too strict a view of what constitutes-- reasonable doubt. Maybe it's too narrow, it's too tight. Maybe I am going-- demanding too much. Perhaps I had better go over and try to take the standard of the other jurors who-- do feel that that-- that was reached."

So I tried during that next week to say, "If you think that's reasonable, I'll-- OK, that's reasonable doubt." And I tried to do that. And a couple of occasions I raised my hand saying, "Alright, guilty." But I didn't feel it. And-- but I did it 'cause I was trying to be reasonable and go to a consensus and not be the boredom, the-- the saddle (PH). I mean and-- but it bothered me. And later on in that week I said, "You know what? I can't do this. I don't believe it."

RATHER: Well I think this is key in understanding. Or where's that Friday that you said you -- wanting to get out of there-- that said, "We'll try it. Let's give it another try." So you came back the following Monday--

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: --to begin giving it a another try.

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: And it was over that weekend that you received the telephone call.

JORDAN: Uh-huh (AFFIRM).

RATHER: And this was after the newspaper articles that you had been--

JORDAN: I think so.

RATHER: --the Wall Street Journal.

JORDAN: If I'm getting the timing straight, I think so. I'm getting a little—mixed up about it.

RATHER: --we'll-- we'll--

JORDAN: Yeah.

RATHER: I'm going from (UNINTEL PHRASE), but I believe that's correct.

JORDAN: Yeah.

RATHER: But nonetheless we're now in the final week of deliberations.

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: And I want to take you down to the Thursday night of that week, because it has been reported that there was at least one juror who felt that if the jury could have stayed and would have stayed just another half hour past the usual five o'clock time, that they might have very well have gotten guilty on one or two counts.

Now that would've taken your vote of guilty as well. But-- and this is the way the story goes, and I'm seeking your confirmation or denial or tell me what happened-- that you said, "I need to sleep on this." And did that happen?

JORDAN: That's something that I said, "I need to sleep on it." I had said that earlier, much earlier I had said that. What happened at-- Thursday-- I had said, "Oh right, I'll vote guilty," because I was trying to be bridled (PH) up standard of the others.

But put a question mark there. I'll say it's guilty with the question mark. And as we went back over the list, a couple of-- there were a couple of other-- charges where the votes were shifting a little bit. And when I said, "You know, I'm not sure that I'm going to go guilty with that. Instead of being 12, nothing, I think I'm going to go to 11, one."

Because I can not-- I'm not doing what's in my heart. I don't-- I don't feel sincere about what I voted there. And they-- and that was sort of greeted with, "Ohhh. You know look at this, she (UNINTEL) over and deliberating in good faith again." They didn't give you credit that I really had a conviction there, I think.

So it was suggested that we-- stay-- stay over another half an hour. And several people said, "No." I think for differing reasons. But-- and I thought to myself-- I did think to myself, "You know what? I'm going to have to say not guilty. And then I'm going to get a lot of flack from the rest of these jury again. They're going to say you're waffling, you're not making up your mind, you're not deliberating in good faith."

And I just couldn't convince them that I really was looking for a reason-- my-- rea-- doubt to be removed. Well I could give you some details about some stuff that was happening. The-- well like I say, (UNINTEL PHRASE). There was evidence in the testimony of one of the defen-- the-- I'm not sure it's-- turned a lot of people into-- it even made me think, "Doesn't sound right."

RATHER: That Mark Swartz--

JORDAN: Yeah.

RATHER: --this one. This is the only person who testified for the defense.

JORDAN: That right. And I had thought-- there had been a lengthy explanation for days and days and days by one of the jurors, to the point where-- well another one said, "We're prosecuting this case. We shouldn't be doing that. We should let that-- shouldn't happen in the-- in the-- in the jury room."

RATHER: That was another juror, not you.

JORDAN: No. No, not I. Somebody else said, "This isn't right. We're prosecuting this case."

RATHER: In other words another juror was presenting the case better than the prosecution had presented it?

JORDAN: Yeah. Well that was-- this is-- he had originally said, "That prosecution did a perfectly terrible job. You know, why can't they get their act together? What-- what's the matter with them that they can't get some lawyers that can-- in six months they can't make a case?" And then he had one point that he had observed or heard from the testimony of Mark Swartz. And then he delivered a exposition of that for--

RATHER: A contradiction--

JORDAN: Yeah, well he was explaining how the evidence, the testimony--

RATHER: So you listened to this and began saying to yourself, "Well, it doesn't make sense."

JORDAN: For a long time I thought, "What is he saying? What is this juror saying?" I also thought, "What's he doing up there?" It-- and I don't know whether other jurors understood exactly what he was doing. But I know.

I thought-- and I'm pretty good at this stuff-- It took me days to understand really what he-- what his point was. And-- and that went on for days and days until one other juror said, "We shouldn't be doing this. We're supposed to be debating our own juror was-- we're not supposed to be instructed by a different juror."

Then somewhere all the little things happened. I'm getting into the details about what's happening in the jury room, but I'm not sure I really want to. But not that I have-- I don't have anything to hide. It's not that. But it's-- it's going to put a-- focus on more of-- on a particular juror here or there, which I don't really want to do.

I want to stay away from that. But I'm going to-- I want to get back to the-- what you were saying. That in the n-- you asked about the last Thursday.

RATHER: This is Thursday evening-- Thursday afternoon, five o'clock, the usual break-off time.

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: And I was asking you to-- to give me the story as you know it--

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: --of why the jury didn't stay on for another half hour or so, when according to some reports it looked like you might vote for at least one or two counts of--

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: --guilty.

JORDAN: Because the person who has said to you that he felt we might get a-- at least a-- one or two guilty verdict -- I don't think it's accurate. I don't think he has it correctly. I don't think that that jury was-- it was at-- at best it was going to be hung.

But I also think that if it was going to be hung, there had been quite a lot of statements prior to that. "We're not going to be a hung jury. If we have come all this way and all this long time to end up being a hung jury, I'm outta here."

RATHER: I want to make sure that--

JORDAN: So I think-- I don't-- in other words, I think the report that would-- we were almost there, is not correct.

RATHER: OK. So the jury goes home on Thursday night.

JORDAN: Uh-huh (AFFIRM).

RATHER: This is within 24 hours of a mistrial being declared.

JORDAN: Yes.

RATHER: And the next morning you told the judge that you'd received a letter.

JORDAN: I got the letter Thursday night. When I got home to my home. I went to the mailbox. And I hadn't picked it up for at least a day. But on the other hand that letter was-- I-- I think it was postmarked-- March 30th. So it could've gotten there-- Thursday.

RATHER: But--

JORDAN: It could've been there Thursday. I guess that was it. But in any event--

RATHER: --but you got it Thursday night—

JORDAN: --whenever it got into my mailbox, I don't know, when I-- I picked it up Thursday night.

RATHER: And what did it say?

JORDAN:Took it upstairs. And it was very innocuous looking, little plain envelope, in reasonable handwriting, with a name on the back that I didn't recognize. But that didn't alarm me, because-- you get all kinds of things in the mail.

It wasn't the typical junk mail, 'cause I'm getting now so that I can almost tell which is junk mail. And I do throw it out without even looking at it. (UNINTEL PHRASE) this is something. And I did open it up. And the very first line said-- it mentioned-- Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz.

And I think it said they are huge criminals or something like that. But I mean as soon as I saw that-- his name, you know I mean that's-- this is not right. It's not good. I did pick up on the end, uh oh, it's threatening to me. It wasn't threatening. It was disturbing. It didn't have a physical threat. But it had a-- it wasn't a good letter for-- for me to receive.

It was disturbing. So I folded it up and then I went down to the court. And as soon as I got into the court in the morning, I told the court officer, "I have received a letter. And I have to speak to the judge." And we at that point, we were collecting in a room where they collected the jury members before they went up to the jury room.

And presently, in came another court officer with a pair of those plastic or rubber gloves and a brown envelope. And I thought, "Oh my gosh. It never occurred to me it might be full of anthrax or something." And it didn't dawn on me. That I mean I just said, "Open the thing up." It wasn't. (LAUGHTER) But he put away his gloves and put it (PH) in the envelope. And he took the letter upstairs to the judge.

And then, there was a long wait. And presently they called me in to talk to all of them. Then they had all the defense and all the prosecution, everybody in a table in the jury-- and the judge. And then he asked me about the letter. And-- I guess I knew that he had said it-- this is gonna-- you're going to be in (PH) disgraced forever. I guess that was the line in the letter, I do (PH) see that. And--

RATHER: --and the letter said, "You will be disgraced forever"?

JORDAN: Yeah-- "It's sad that you have brought this disgrace on your family for down the years," or something of that sort, like that. But I mean and-- it was a kind of a-- what do we call it? Disapproving? That's not enough. It was a very-- strong--

RATHER: Was it damning you?

JORDAN: I would say so (PH). Yeah.

RATHER: As best you can-- I don't want to belabor this point-- but as best you can, and I recognize you're going from memory, was the letter written on write paper, blue paper, brown paper?

JORDAN: It was white. I think it was slightly off-white. But it was whitish paper.

RATHER: Pencil or pen?

JORDAN: Pen. Handwritten. It didn't look clear writing. It was-- oh, wait a minute. Excuse me. That's not true. It was-- the envelope was handwritten, addressed. And the-- the back of it, the return-- name and address on the back of the-- on the envelope-- which is another reason that it seemed (UNINTEL). What is it? That-- but the letter--

RATHER: But the letter that--

JORDAN: --itself was-- was in some kind of-- it looked a little bit like it might have been printed on a computer. It wasn't-- it wasn't typewritten. But it was printed.

RATHER: As best you can remember, tell me--

JORDAN: And I think that it-- I think it was signed inside. I don't remember that exactly. But I think so.

RATHER: But as best you can remember-- and I recognize that-- memory can't be precise, (UNINTEL) accurate-- the letter said what?

JORDAN: That Dennis and Mark are-- huge criminals, something like that. And how could I have failed to see that? And-- oh, that-- that many, many shareholders had lost millions of dollars. And that it was very sad that I had brought disgrace on my family.

And it would be there for generations or something like that. I understood that to mean that he was implying that I had indeed-- made some compact (PH) with the-- defense to not vote-- to find him guilty. And that-- that it was-- that it was my fault.

That I voted wrongly, and therefore they were going to be exonerated or acquitted. And that it was that I-- that the disgrace was that I had been taking a bribe or done-- made some agreement with the defense. That's what I understood that disgrace to mean.

RATHER: And for the record, did you have any contact with the defense whatsoever?

JORDAN: No.

RATHER: In any way shape or form?

JORDAN: No.

RATHER: And to this accusation that you say was-- if not explicit, implicit--

JORDAN: Yeah.

RATHER: --in the letter--

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: --and--

JORDAN: I never knew any of those people anywhere before. I knew nothing about them. I'd never talked to any of them. I'd never-- they're-- I-- and then-- I have no rea-- to talk to any of them.

RATHER: So you came back the next morning after opening this letter--

JORDAN: Gave it to the judge.

RATHER: --and-- and eventually you were in a room with the judge and the defense and prosecution attorneys?

JORDAN: Uh-huh (AFFIRM). Uh-huh (AFFIRM).

RATHER: What can you tell me about that? What was said?

JORDAN: I gotta remember it. (LAUGHTER) I--

RATHER: Well the judge was in charge.

JORDAN: The judge was in charge. And-- he said something first about, "Did I recognize the handwriting?" And I said, "No." "Did I-- did I know the name of the person on the envelope?" And I said, "No." And I don't remember whether he said, "Well why did you open (LAUGHTER) it?"

I don't think-- he didn't say that. But anyway, somehow that came to the floor (PH). And I said, "Because it was in the mail. And you get all sorts of stuff in the mail." And-- I don't (PH) often get offers to-- whatever. You know it-- some opportunity--

RATHER: Well did you know this person who wrote the letter at--

JORDAN: No.

RATHER: --now that you know who he is?

JORDAN: No. No. I haven't-- I've never heard of him before.

RATHER: Never had any contact with him--

JORDAN: No.

RATHER: --so far as you know.

JORDAN: No. It's somebody in-- I think it was either Boston or Cambridge. I'd never heard of him, never knew who he was at all.

RATHER: Now back to that room the morning--

JORDAN: So then-- and then the--

RATHER: --Thursday morning.

JORDAN: --judge said-- after that he said, "Well-- do you think you can continue to deliberate?" And I said in-- in good faith-- and what was going through my head was, the last time I had one of these, it wasn't a letter. It was the phone call. I made an attempt to think, "Well you know, I am not deliberating in good faith. I must try to go with the majority over there. I can overcome this threatening thing."

I-- what I was-- really felt I was doing was abandoning my own-- standards and beliefs and-- measure of my own conviction. I was trying to be somebody else and do what was going to make this thing come to a (UNINTEL) conclusion.

RATHER: Excuse me one second.

RATHER: I don't-- I will say today I'm a little lost. Because this afternoon they-- when I say they caught the guy, they found the guy who wrote the letter.

Part IV: Interview With Tyco Juror Ruth Jordan





  • Rebecca Leung

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