Sunday, June 16, 2013


Page 1 of Park Jury Instructions

I've obtained a copy of the jury instructions that were read to the jurors at Park's trial.  You can read them, HERE.

On June 3rd when the verdict on first degree was reached, (Day 7 of Verdict Watch) it's my understanding that the jury foreman wrote on that verdict form that two jurors were not following the jury instructions. The jurors could not reach a verdict on the lesser charge (second degree).

T&T readers, which jury instruction (or instructions) do you think the jurors were not following, and why?


Robert said...

I have not followed things from front to back, but I believe you have an unfortunate case of low information jurors... exactly what the defense wanted. They ran into explicable problems, and then turned them into an OJ Simpson acquittal.

For whatever reason, the criminalist was fired by the Samo PD. At least that is what I get from your postings. Everything she did, and collected was turned into a question mark by the defense. If she got fired, it must have been for cause, and so how do we know she collected, stored, tested the evidence properly?

The second problem was the testimony of one of the victim's friends who said Julianna did not shower daily, because 'she was not a high maintenance girl.'

Third... the defense was able to implant in the jury's mind that DNA collected at the scene could have been transfered off a garment from Kelly to Julianna. (A big stretch, but they got away with it)

Do the math...

If the jury believed the DNA could have been transferred....

And if the jury believed the victim did not shower regularly, then there is the possibility that the DNA could have been transfered...

And it the Samo PD fired the criminalist, then the integrity of the evidence collected at the scene is in question....

... and If I got all that correct (and who knows, as fast as I am reading and moving these days) then the defense said thank you to the prosecution, because the prosecution made their case.

The prosecution could not place Kelly at the scene using cell phone records. The prosecution did a very thin job of linking Kelly/Juliana/Dr U. Granted, that was the judge's decision, but still...

The prosecution's case hinged on the collection of DNA, but the criminalist got fired. The DNA evidence became suspect, and so, where was their case?

A person's life was on the line, and the jury was faced with all of those negatives noted above and they brought back a verdict of not guilty.

If I mistated anything or misunderstood your posts, let me know, but that's my take on the reason why... I think they missed the boat, but there are good reasons for that.

Sprocket said...

Hi Robert,

The only item forensic specialist Leslie Funo collected at the scene that was entered into the trial as evidence was the fingerprint. Funo was not involved in DNA collection at the scene.

Juliana was murdered in the evening of March 15th. The criminal investigation at the scene started on March 16th. That fingerprint was entered into AFIS on March 17th, immediately after it was collected. So, in my opinion, there wasn't any problem with Funo's work in relation to this case. She collected the print and entered it into AFIS in a timely manner.

Funo was fired but fought the firing and was reinstated to her job. She won.

The DNA found on the victim's body (neck) was collected by the coroner's crminalist.

The defense was not able to raise any issues about the collection procedures of the DNA at the scene, (at least, not that I could see from the cross examination) or the swabbing techniques of the various items. In fact, in their closing arguments, the defense stated the DNA WAS PARK'S DNA.