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Court TV

Peterson jury foreman is a lawyer

By Harriet Ryan
Court TV

Scott Peterson listens intently during defense closing arguments Tuesday.
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Laci Peterson
Scott Peterson
Crime, Law and Justice

REDWOOD CITY, California (COURT TV) -- Jurors in Scott Peterson's murder trial have elected as foreman an attorney who also holds a medical degree.

According to a Court TV source, the panel chose Juror 5 to lead the panel when they began deliberations Wednesday afternoon. Judge Alfred Delucchi appeared to confirm the panelist's position to a group of reporters Thursday afternoon, saying, "I ain't going to deny it."

The juror, who appears to be in his late 30s or early 40s, works in business development for a company that develops heart medication. He was a practicing physician for two years before going to law school.

He took more notes than any of his colleagues on the jury, carrying a stack of about 12 spiral-bound memo pads into the deliberation room. When his pen ran out of ink during the testimony of a minor witness, he appeared upset and gestured wildly to a bailiff for an immediate replacement.

The juror was especially attentive when evidence was passed through the jury box. When prosecutor Birgit Fladager had Laci Peterson's blouse passed from one juror to another, he did not wait for his turn but stood and leaned over other jurors to inspect the garment.

He told the judge during jury selection that, although he had undergone training in pathology -- a key area of dispute in the trial -- he did not consider himself an expert.

"My training in pathology was simply as a medical student, classroom work, and I think in a surgical rotation there was surgical pathology ... It's certainly not an expertise of mine," he said.

While many jurors ate lunch together over the five months of trial, Juror 5 often ate alone, reading the New York Times Book Review under a tree near court or sitting on a bench with a book.

The panelist was an alternate until June when another juror, Justin Falconer, was dismissed from the panel.

Asked during voir dire if he was a confident enough person to stand up for his beliefs in the jury room, he replied, "I believe that if I were persuaded that my decision was the correct one, that I would not change my vote simply to go home because it was Friday afternoon or because there were 11 other persons in the room who thought differently."

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