Part 5: Tyco Juror No. 4

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

Read Part V of Tyco Juror No. 4 Ruth Jordan's interview with Dan Rather on 60 Minutes II.
RATHER: Well, you had said that you thought the Wall Street Journal outing you as a juror was outrageous. And that you had not made yourself of news value by your behavior in the courtroom.

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: Now, I (UNINTEL) want to quote to you what Mr. Paul Allen, the editor in chief of the New York Post, said: "By her extraordinary behavior, signaling her thoughts to the defendant, the juror created public interest in her identity."

JORDAN: I don't think that's a true statement. I did not signal my thoughts to the defense. And so how could I have created this situation if I didn't make a signal to the defense.

RATHER: You just never did it.

JORDAN: I never did it.

RATHER: Now, in December a court clerk did speak to you about being careful about facial expressions, body language, did she not?

JORDAN: Yes, she did.

RATHER: Tell me about that.

JORDAN: This is the court clerk Elizabeth, who sat just at a desk, just before the jury exit of the courtroom. And I do smile at people, I talk to people on the subway, I'm responsive to things that go on around me. As we left, often, I would give Elizabeth a smile, and she sometimes gave us a nice little (UNINTEL) eye.

And we're out of the courtroom. One day, when we were leaving, she came out and she said, "Ms. Jordan." Did she say Mrs. Jordan? I don't remember. But, anyway, she would say, (UNINTEL) it's so ridiculous to say this. But she did say, "Are you flirting with Mr. Kozlowski?" And I said, "What? You must be out of your mind.

"I, you know what? This man is, first of all he has too many women in his life already. He's married. He's not really my type, and I'm 20 years older than he is. This is totally ridiculous. What are you talking about?" And she said, "Oh, well. Alright, alright, I just wanted to be sure." And I said, "That is just, you know. I-- how could you? I don't understand it."

So, when we went back to the jury room and the day went on, overnight I thought about it. And I thought, you know what? It sounds as if I would just say, "Oh, you're ridiculous, don't-- " you know, I had just brushed it off and not given it any serious-- weight. Oh my goodness, have I done something wrong?

And, if I have, you know-- I should listen to her. So I wrote her a letter. And in it I tried to explain that I wasn't being flippant or careless, and that I tried to say how I felt about the jury trial, and this trial, and the (UNINTEL)-- judicial system in general, and its judge, and my role in it, and what I was trying to do. And-- that's the best I could do. And she seemed to think that was acceptable.

RATHER: I have a copy of that letter in which wrote (UNINTEL).

JORDAN: Yeah. That was in December.

RATHER: In December. Did you think then that this was something that she was asking on her own? Or did you have the impression that perhaps someone else had raised it?

JORDAN: I thought, I think, I said, "Elizabeth-- " I asked her, "I think -- is it-- was the judge worried about this?" And she said, "No, no, no, no. It was one of the guards." That had seen me smiling. I (UNINTEL) look guys, they're court officers. And I said, "Oh, alright." You know, but I-- I-- I was-- I was concerned that maybe I had offended the court (UNINTEL) judge. But she gave me--

RATHER: But that was in December? That was in December?

JORDAN: That was in December.

RATHER: (UNINTEL) the showing of the-- the alleged, supposed reported showing of the A-OK sign.

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: And the other signals to the defense which you have denied.

JORDAN: I did.

RATHER: Fair to describe as flat denials? Vehement--

JORDAN: It's a flat denial.

RATHER: Vehement denial?

JORDAN: Yeah. Vehement deni-- deni-- deni--

RATHER: OK. But that all was supposed to have happened after the court clerk (UNINTEL) to really ask you-- were you flirting with Mr. Kozlowski. Well, let's move on to a couple of other things. Because now time is running on us.

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: But you have, in some of the press, by no means all of the press, been characterized as a wealthy, east side blue blood. That was in print the phrase, "(UNINTEL) blue blood." Used in the context of, "(UNINTEL) blue blood is fouling up this trial." There's no joy in repeating these things but--

JORDAN: Yeah, certainly.

RATHER: --wanted to give you a chance to set the record straight. I asked you earlier who you were and what you were. By a reasonable person's standard, are you wealthy?

JORDAN: No.

RATHER: Do you live in an East Side mansion?

JORDAN: No. I live in a one bedroom apartment in a rent subsidized building.

RATHER: Did you go to court in a limousine?

JORDAN: No. And I guess I would like to go a little further with that. Because, to me, that is so representative of how small ordinary things can be spun totally out of control. Every morning of the six months of that jury trial, when the trial was on, I got up at 6:00 in the morning, and I had breakfast and I got dressed in what I thought was appropriate for the court. Made my lunch, because this wealthy Upper East Side (UNINTEL) six dollars is too much for a sandwich. I resented it, and-- I can make a better one for-- (UNINTEL) six of them.

RATHER: Excuse me. When you say wealthy Upper East Side, do you mean that in quotations?

JORDAN:: Well, not-- that's sarcastic. I'm being-- I'm not-- I'm not-- right.

RATHER: Right.

JORDAN: Made my lunch, gathered up whatever, my papers and things. Well, sometimes I carry my bills to pay down there in the court. Walk to the subway, got out on 68th Street, local-- Lexington Avenue line. Got off on 59th Street. Oh, by the way, you get crushed in all of the commuter traffic. Which I didn't really mind.

I mean, as I said, I made friends, I talked to people. And-- but then I went down the stairs at 59th Street to get on the express, because it-- not only does the express get there faster, but I learned that if you get on the express at 59th Street, which you again have to get mashed inside the doorway, and hope that your court doesn't get caught. A lot of people get off at Grand Central, and then you can get a seat.

Which I often did, not always, but about half the time at least. Got all the way down to the court area. And then I walked through that sleet and snow in sub zero weather (UNINTEL)-- which I happen to like. I'm a cold weather person, I enjoy the cold, it doesn't bother me.

But I did have to go tramp through the slush and the mush and the snow. And sometimes it was-- not (UNINTEL), but I was coming so I was carrying my boots, or else I was carrying my shoes. Walked to the court and came into the court and did my jury duty for that day.

RATHER: For six months? You reversed it at night.

JORDAN: Reversed that at night. And for six months I did that every jury day.

RATHER: Go to—by subway?

JORDAN: By subway.

RATHER: And come back by subway.

JORDAN: And came back by subway.

RATHER: Did you have the money to go some other way? Did you have the--

JORDAN: Really, no.

RATHER: You rode the subway because?

JORDAN: Because it's really the most economical thing that I can do. I like to ride-- I'm over 65. So I get the half fare, which has now gone up to a dollar. But-- I get a, you know, two for one ride. So--

RATHER: And you took your lunch.

JORDAN: And I took my lunch.

RATHER: The lunch you fixed.

JORDAN: That I fixed.

RATHER: So where does this report come from that you arrived-- daily by limousine.

JORDAN: I think I have the source of it. In the week before the end, the week before the last week-- when I was in the main-- coming to the main hall-- there are-- they have dividers that are direct where the-- people coming into the court. There's a lot of other new jurors coming in from other trials. There's a divider. And it has little metal pieces that stick out from the side which cause it to stay upright. I tripped on one of those. And I didn't fall, but I, you know, you put your foot forward to stop your fall. I did not spill my coffee, and I didn't feel anything, it didn't hurt, and I went on in then to the jury room.

Later that night, when I was coming home, my hip began to hurt me, it was just killing me. And I thought, oh no, I am going to have a pinched nerve, and that is gonna be so painful, that I will not be able to finish my jury trial. And I mean it made me frightened and disappointed.

So I took two Tylenol, and I propped my leg and my hip up with pillows (UNINTEL). And I slept through the night. In the morning it still hurt, it was really about as much, it hadn't (UNINTEL) where it got much better. And it thought, I don't think I can take that subway. Maybe I will indulge myself and take a taxi.

So when I was ready to go, I went down to Second Avenue and tried to flag a taxi. It was 8:15 in the morning, you (UNINTEL) life to get a taxi. And I didn't. But along came the car service. And the driver leaned out and said, "Are you trying to go downtown?" And I said, "Yes." And he said, "Do you want a ride?" And I craftily asked him how much. And he said $15. And I said, "OK. That's worth it. I'll do that." So he did ride me downtown. And then--

RATHER: Excuse me, was this a limousine? A long limousine or sedan or--

JORDAN: No. It was sedan, it was just a, you know, really right next to the driver. You know, it has the front seat and the back seat. It looks like a an ordinary sedan, I think it was black, actually. And the driver was not uniformed or anything. He just-- well, he was, I think, I know, I have his name and phone number, but--

RATHER: It's a car for hire.

JORDAN: Car for hire. Right. Yeah. Exactly what it was. And-- so he drove me down. And I spoke to him, I said, "Do you ever go to somebody's doorway to pick them up? I mean will you make an appointment to do that?" And he said, "Sure." And I said, "Well, you know what? My-- I think my hip might not be all that well tomorrow. Would you be willing to come to my door at 8:15, and give me a ride down again?"

And he agreed that he would. And so the next morning when I was not quite ready to go, my intercom on the thing-- the building rang. And the doorman said, "Oh, you're limousine is here." That was a quarter of 8:00. What did he say limousine? I can't remember. But anyway, "Your car is here." And I said, "Oh my goodness. My goodness. I'm not ready. He said 8:15." So I hurried up, anyways the car did wait. And I got there around 8:15. And again he--

RATHER: And, again, this was not a limousine?

JORDAN: No.

RATHER: This was a car. Sedan. Car for hire.

JORDAN: Car for hire, sedan. And he did ride me down to the court a second day. And that was it. That--

RATHER: All the rest of the time you took the subway.

JORDAN: Right.

RATHER: Coming and going.

JORDAN: That's right. But I took that car for hire off of Second Avenue one day. And one day he came and picked me up at my building. And I think that someone, and nobody would have known about the Second Avenue one because I got it out on the street. So must have known about this one time that it came to my doorway. And from that, has spun this-- huge image that is totally-- I was like -- I mean has nothing to do-- that one little thing. And there was one more thing that I have heard reported but-- it's (UNINTEL). But shall I go with that?

RATHER: Please. What is it?

JORDAN: It was said that I was very inconsiderate of the employees, and didn't bother to give them any Christmas presents, and wouldn't hand them (UNINTEL) envelopes and--

RATHER: I read that.

JORDAN: Yeah. About how stingy I was. I wouldn't give them Christmas present. That's true, I did not give them $5, $10, or $20 in an envelope because Manhattan House has an employee Christmas fund. And every year, at about the beginning of December, they set out a red box, and they put a wreath around it, and writing Christmas employee fund letters on it. It has a slot in the top.

And I wrote a check, and put it in that. And I'd make it out to the employees Christmas fund. And I do know because I calculated it that if everybody apartment in that building made the same-- it-- well, many people would think it was not a very big check, but it's big enough for me. But if everybody did give that same amount, they would have over $58,000 for their Christmas fund. And there are not many more than about-- approximately 58 employees. So every employee would have a had a thousand dollar fund. So I did my part toward making a good Christmas gift.

RATHER: So you did give a Christmas gift.

JORDAN: I did give. Right. And that all got spun-- you know, just because I didn't put it in an envelope hand to hand. That got spun into this unbelievable untruth.

RATHER: Ms. Jordan you have been patient, and generous of your time and I appreciate it. At the end here, help me help our viewers. What do jury deliberations, what does this jury deliberation tell us about human nature?

JORDAN: Even with this bad result, it tells me that human beings deserve an awful lot of credit for their ability to hang in there-- an extremely difficult task, a daunting task, for 12 people who-- to try to do their duty, and serve their country, and their-- and their fellow man, and to find justice. Just as I did, I've been trying to do my very best to-- to (UNINTEL) I think all of the other jurors did too. Because we fail-- we fail-- (UNINTEL) dealing with human beings so well (UNINTEL PHRASE) what-- what do you expect?

I felt that—I had thought about deliberating. I think I spoke to a friend recently and said, "Have you ever sat down and tried to deliberate, or even exchange ideas and come to an agreement with one person?" How ha-- easy is that? I mean if you don't agree-- if you don't agree, and if the outcome is extremely important, it is very difficult.

And imagine trying to do that times 12. I don't think know how to get-- nobody knows how to deliberate. I don't think any jury knows how to deliberate. It's a matter of trying to blend your ideas, and your thoughts, and your convictions with 12 other people.

And there is no organized format. You just (UNINTEL) in the room, deliberate. I don't think (UNINTEL) do it. I think that was does happen because I still believe in the jury system. I think it's very good. (COUGHING) I think it's one of our best hopes for trying to come to justice. (COUGHING)

It's this amazing thing that somehow is part of the daily role of a jury. You listen to somebody on the witness stand, and you make up your mind whether he's telling the truth or not. And (UNINTEL) that up with is some innate sense in everybody. There's something in us that can see the truth.

And it's that common perception that it-- maybe it's some kind of divine gift to all of us. That's what I think the jury usually makes its decision on. The evidence and the law are absolutely essential. But there is some heartfelt inner conviction which finally informs your decision.

RATHER: Are you comfortable with your decision?

JORDAN: I am very sad that the way that it all turned out. But I also think there were many other factors besides my strong conviction that (UNINTEL) this mistrial, there were many other things which I spoke about here some.

RATHER: Is your conscience clear, completely clear about your own actions?

JORDAN: Yes. Plus, you know, (UNINTEL) maybe I was wrong. But basically-- I, you know, if I was wrong, I did the best I could do with what I had.

RATHER: Do you have any fears that you now will reap some kind of whirlwind, you already have in terms of pronunciations of some quarters of the press.

JORDAN: Yes. I do have (UNINTEL)-- I do-- I don't want to entertain the possibility there might be something for me outside that is quite lethal. But-- (COUGHING) I'm a little afraid of that. But I've done an awful lot of things that I'm afraid of. And I heard somebody say, you know, "Well, (UNINTEL) left-- " Someone recently saying, "Do you mean I have to do this unpleasant task for the rest of my life?"

And her friend responded to her, "Well, you know, that not-- might not be very long. It might be a couple of hours." (UNINTEL) really know, you know. So I may not be in any more threatening a position than you. (LAUGHTER) (UNINTEL). As far as a reputation, I think it's definitely been shaken. I'm gonna have to just (UNINTEL). But, you know what--

RATHER: Go ahead.

JORDAN: I'm happy with it, you know. And even I (UNINTEL)-- look at all that loss, isn't that terrible. I'm not sure it is. If I had voted against my conscience, and said, "Alright, they're guilty," when I don't believe, then why can't anybody else do the same thing? And that's an absolute destruction of what the jury system is about. And that would be a loss. So maybe it cost all of us to maintain that ability to (UNINTEL) and (UNINTEL) or convictions.

RATHER: But you may have to pay a heavier price than most for that.

JORDAN: Maybe.

RATHER: Thank you Mrs. Jordan.

JORDAN: Thank you Dan.


Return to Part I: Interview With Tyco Juror Ruth Jordan




  • Rebecca Leung

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