Saturday, October 3, 2015

Juror explains Stubblefield verdict

One of the jurors in the Stubblefield case spoke to the press:
"Especially the communications she was supposedly having with (D.J.) and that he was doing all of this talking, we didn't believe it," the juror said.
In an interview with NJ Advance Media after the verdict was handed down, the female juror explained why the jury found Stubblefield, 45, of West Orange, guilty of two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault for abusing the 34-year-old D.J. in her Newark office in 2011.
Soon after the panel began its deliberations on Thursday, the group was convinced of Stubblefield's guilt, according to the juror, who declined to provide her name.
The juror said "you don't want to see someone go to jail," but added that "once we started talking about it, everybody kind of agreed that it was wrong."
After less than two hours of deliberations, the panel, however, "wanted to give it a little more time," and decided to continue their deliberations on Friday morning, the juror said.
But after deliberating for about 45 minutes on Friday, the juror said the panel remained certain and notified the judge that it had reached a decision.
"We still talked about it more, but there was no change," the juror said.
The jury didn't buy Stubblefield's claim that she was genuinely communicating with DJ, the man in question.
(t)he juror said she believed the state's experts about D.J.'s mental defectiveness and did not accept Stubblefield's claims about facilitated communication.
The juror said it appeared Stubblefield's plan was "to get status or to say...'Look, what I've done'" for D.J. in helping him to communicate.
"In one sense, maybe she did fall in love with him, but it was just too much manipulation," the juror said.
While on the witness stand, Stubblefield was "very arrogant," according to the juror. The juror specifically criticized Stubblefield's claims about her office being a private space and that the sexual acts there were not the university's business.
"I thought that was ridiculous," the juror said.
The juror also indicated that seeing D.J. in the courtroom made an impact on her. In his only appearance during the trial, D.J.'s mother escorted him into the courtroom on the first day and introduced him to the jury.
"I couldn't understand why she did it when I did see him," the juror said, referring to Stubblefield. "I was like...'You're going to leave your husband and your kids for someone like this?'"

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