NEW YORK (AP) — Ruth Jordan, the former juror at the
center of a media furor during the Tyco mistrial, said she never
signaled her support for the defense but was likely going to vote
to acquit the firm’s two former executives.
“At best it was going to be a hung jury,” Jordan
said in an interview published yesterday in The New York Times.
“I don’t think I would have voted guilty on any
Jordan also denied she ever flashed an “OK” hand
signal to reassure defense lawyers during the trial, as had been
reported by several news outlets.
“I would never do that,” she said. “It’s
completely contrary to what I was supposed to be doing there as a
juror. It’s so unbelievably stupid.”
She said she suffered from a medical condition similar to
shingles that made her skin sensitive and that she sometimes
scraped her hair back from her face — a movement that could
be mistaken for a signal.
The interview, a collaboration with CBS News, was to air last
night on “60 Minutes II.”
Jordan received an intimidating letter and a telephone call
after her name and accounts of the alleged hand signal appeared in
several newspapers. News organizations usually do not report the
names of sitting jurors.
Jordan reported the contacts to state Supreme Court Justice
Michael Obus, who declared a mistrial Friday in the cases of L.
Dennis Kozlowski, 57, Tyco’s former chief executive officer,
and Mark H. Swartz, 43, the former chief financial officer.
The former executives, accused of looting Tyco of $600 million,
had been charged with grand larceny, falsifying business records,
conspiracy and securities fraud. Each would have faced up to 30
years in prison if convicted.
Jordan said she considered all evidence presented in the trial
fairly. But the prosecution’s case, including descriptions of
lavish personal expenditures made by Kozlowski and Swartz, failed
to convince her of the defendants’ guilt, she said.
“Even people who have bad habits deserve justice,”
she said. “Intent — intent was the center of the whole
case, at least for me. I don’t think they thought they were
committing a crime.”
Several fellow jurors have said that the jury was close to
reaching a consensus to convict Kozlowski and Swartz on several
counts when the mistrial was called.