Basil trial juror who lied must be held accountable
The judicial process didn’t let the Sager family down, Juror 12 did. As anyone who has been called for jury selection knows, it is a sobering and solemn business. The truth and the whole truth is the standard, and Juror 12 violated that standard, if not by failing to volunteer that she served in the military, then certainly by lying about her record. Who could possibly forget an arrest for grand theft?
District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III’s criticism of Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang is totally unwarranted. Given the facts of Juror 12’s conduct, the case would certainly have been decided for the defense in a higher court, wasting more time and money and causing more distress to the Sager family.
Most troubling is the district attorney’s defense of Juror 12, and his decision not to bring charges against her. Sedita represents the citizens of Erie County, not jury members. Jeffrey Basil’s trial was doubtless excruciating for the Sager family and certainly painful for the community. Who knows how much the trial actually cost taxpayers? The verdict set aside rests on Juror 12, and she should be held accountable. Otherwise, what message is sent to future jury candidates?
Catherine F. Parker