In a seemingly separate issue, the day before the dismissal the judge had summoned the jurors into court after the jury foreman sent him a note. The judge sternly admonished the panel, "Remember...you are to be impartial judges of the facts." It wasn't clear what had prompted the lecture, but there was immediate speculation that one or more jurors could be refusing to keep an open mind and that the group was drifting toward deadlock. "It was a clear indication that there is a problem," says Bay Area attorney Daniel Horowitz. "The judge gave them a little nudge."
As for the newest juror, she's a thirtyish bank employee and a mother of four with nine tattoos. When asked about the tattoos during the jury-selection questioning in April, she replied, "I know what it's like to be judged." She also made a point of emphasizing her independence. "I guess I like to debate," she said. Moreover, she insisted that she would maintain an open mind no matter what. "You have to be able to listen to anything," she told the court. "This is somebody's life."