(Comes to light just days after Brauchler bailed out? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Excellent reporting today by The Denver Post’s Jordan Steffen, who breaks the news that three jurors in the Aurora theater trial voted affirmatively for life in prison, according to one of the three jurors, who was previously thought to have been undecided.
Steffen’s interview is beautifully written, giving you a great sense of the juror’s struggles and a journalist’s experience talking to her, but what caught my eye, as someone who listened to prosecutor George Brauchler repeatedly say he was “one vote away” from getting the death penalty, were these three paragraphs:
“There were three,” [the juror] said. “Not one.”
…Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler has said he wouldn’t second-guess his decision to pursue the death penalty because of one juror’s position that led to the life sentence.
Last week, he said all of the deliberating jurors he’s spoken with have indicated that Juror 17’s account was accurate. He conceded that he hadn’t met with all of them.
More of an explanation from Brauchler would have been nice, because you have to wonder why a man of his intelligence and intensity would deliver rotten information about the jury count, without at least saying he wasn’t sure or acknowledging, as juror 17 had clearly said after the trial, that juror 17 was against the death sentence and two jurors were undecided. That’s obviously three, not one, votes away from conviction.
Maybe Brauchler, who subsequently announced he wouldn’t challenge Sen. Michael Bennet, was just trying to make himself look good? But as a veteran prosecutor, he had to know that his misinformation could be hurting real people.
Steffen reported that the juror he interviewed ended “her silence because she could no longer bear to watch the weight of public scrutiny — what she described as a ‘witch hunt’ — fall solely on the shoulders of her fellow juror.”
Brauchler was partly responsible for the witch hunt, as today’s Post piece makes clear.