The Trial of Elizabeth Holmes, ch. 17: looking inside the juror decision process

How does a juror–and jury–process multiple counts, witnesses, a defendant, and an avalanche of information without drowning? ABC News interviewed Juror #6, Wayne Kaatz, an actor, voice talent, and scriptwriter. We rarely get a glimpse inside the jury box of a high-profile case. It’s well described, which isn’t surprising given that Mr. Kaatz is a writer, mostly for children’s programs. In short, “working class” show biz.

  • They grappled with the ultimately deadlocked three charges–and felt they had failed (Ch. 16)
  • Early on, they discarded the charges involving patients, considering Elizabeth Holmes ‘one step removed’ from them
  • They scored witnesses’ testimonies and Holmes on a 1-4 scale, from not credible to most credible. Adam Rosendorff, the lab director that the defense went after hard, scored a four. Holmes–a two.
  • They were sympathetic towards Holmes, finding her “likable”, with a “positive dream”. 
  • The decision to find her guilty on the four fraud counts centered on her “final approval” and that she “owned everything”.  

About the process, they selected a younger man as their foreman from the eight men and four women. They shared initial verdicts on paper scraps and laid out information on a timeline. The jurors got along well over the months-long trial culminating in 50+ hours of deliberation, working on puzzles and swapping sandwiches. 

Mr. Kaatz closed his thoughts: “It was an honor. It was a duty, I did it. I’m done.” Little drama, not ‘Law and Order’ or ‘Twelve Angry Men’. ABC News–and do read the interesting comments, but only halfway through before it devolves into hair-pulling on a wholly different event.

The Wall Street Journal’s follow-up (paywalled text, but audio is not) focuses on Juror #8 (Susanna Stefanek) finding the “smoking guns” as the altered pharmaceutical “endorsements”, singling out Pfizer’s, and the fictional financial projections.

Vox goes into Holmes as Hollywood will be seeing her, with Hulu and Apple treatments teeing up. The NY Times goes on about Holmes being a product of Silicon Valley culture–the puffery, the one-upmanship, and believing their own press releases. But for now, we can give it a rest…till Sunny Balwani’s trial starts.