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January 19, 2007

Renee,
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wanted you to be able to read it without sfraimng your eyes.

First of all, I want to apologize to you. I'm truly sorry for what has happened to you and
that you are in that awful place. I feel some what responsible for that and I think about
you often. I don't know ifyou know who lam or ifyou would remember me. I was one
ofthe jurors at your trial. I was the primary reason we took so long in the jury room to
make a decision. I tried to correct my mistakes and help your lawyers after the trial. I
don't know ifyou know about that. I want to tell you what happened. .
_ * i i : - '
.... ^ ^

Myself and three other jurors wferetotalljrdregiiked With the way they ittt^topaiid ycnf
and without the presence of an attorney. For myself it wasn't a matter of whether you
were guilty or not, it was a matter of the fact that they didn't prove it and didn't have
anything but circumstantial evidence without that forced confession. I don't care if you
are guilty or not. I feel like I failed in my duties and to you. I want to tell you what
happened in that jury room. I've been meaning to write you and tell you this for years but
I've always had something come up in my life that has kept me from finding the time.

When we were given the case and sent jto, the jury room f?r deliberations, .1 hadnodue;

pereonaHives priofto that point, as instructed: Tlie juy room was yeiy smallj cramped

smoke in that room! On top of that, we were not allowed to take any smoke breaks once
deliberations began. That was not the initial issue but it became one. Once we went into
the room, we decided to take a vote. The jury foreperson, who was a real bitch, asked us
to all vote out loud or by a raise of hands to begin with. I had no problem with that but
some ofthe other jurors did. Some ofthem wanted to do it by paper anonymously. After
a few minutes of disagreement on that, the jury foreperson agreed to that and everyone
put their verdict on a piece ofpaper. Actually, it was done on 2 separate pieces ofpaper,
one for each count. The charges, as you know, were conspiracy and murder. We were to

what the tact vote was at that time because we had several, but I believe the initial vote

because we didn't believe you pulled the trigger. Myself and 3 others voted not guilty on
both counts because we didn't like how things were done.

-r. .* i" ' .

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some bashing of others because they wouldn't change their vote because people were
ready to go home.

I can tell you this. You were convicted by that jury for two reasons and only these two
reasons. People were tired and ready to go home and we were ready to get out ofthat
room to smoke. I know that is awful but it's the truth and I think you deserve to know the
truth. I personally failed you and changed my vote because I was tired, stressed, needed a
cigarette and the jury foreperson was aggravating the shit out of us. I was weak and
didn't stand up for my decision. The other 3 people that were voting with me changed
their votes about an hour before I did. They didn't want to change their votes but they
were ready to get out ofthere too. I was the final hold up. I'm sure you are aware ofthat.
When we came out of the room and announced the verdict, I was sick to my stomach. I
wanted to speak out then when they polled us and tell them that it wasn't my vote, that I
was pressured to make that decision, but I was scared I would get in trouble. I didn't
know what to do; All of the other jurors left theroom-during sentencing and ifyou can
remember, I stayed in there. I wanted to know the fate ofthe decision I made. When they
handed down your sentence, I cried. I couldn't hold it back. When I left the court room, I
was called into the Judge's Chambers and asked about the deliberations. I told the judge
what happened and he said that we had come to the right decision and for me not to feel
guilty. I puked when I left the court house that night, after I was bombarded by reporters
from court tv and the local media

A few days after the trial, my wife, x- wife now, told me I should contact your attorneys
and tell them what happened. I did contact your attorneys and answered all their
questions mid tried to help you. After they interviewed me though, I never heard from
them again. A year after your trial I was contacted by court tv and asked to do an
interview because they were going to be featuring your case on their show. I agreed to do
it and I was looking forward to telling my stoiy to the public about what happened in that
jury room. However, a week before we were to do the interview, they called and
cancelled it because of the pending war in Afghanistan.

That was the last I ever heard anything about you until a few weeks ago. I was told that a
friend of my mom's wrote a book about you and that you may be getting a new trial. That
is all third party info so I don't know if any of it is true.

Well, one ofthe reasons for writing you was to apologize to you. The other is because I
am also going to be writing a book. Right now I am working on another one, unrelated.
When I get done with it, I am going to begin working on the one inspired by you. The
book isn't really going to be about you, but is going to be about my experience as a juror
and how bad the jury system is. Its going to be a reflection of how things work and
happen in the jury room. "The title ofthe book is going to be, " Behind Closed Doors", a
look into jury deliberations. I was going to use your trial, and some of the situation for
inspiration but its going to be fictional predominately. Hopefully it will be an eye opener
to how things really work though and will help to prevent that from happening to anyone
else.

V?
[

Even ifwe had come back hung, you may have been convicted by another jury, but then
again, you may have gotten another hung jury. I just don't think people should be
pressured to make a decision and should be pressured to change a decision which affects
some ones life like that. Simply put, you got convicted because I wasn't strong enough to
stand up to other jurors, I needed a cigarette and I was ready to go home. I should have
held out. I don't know if it would have done you any good in the long ran, but I should
have held my ground. I don't care if you are guilty or not, you deserved a fair trial and a
fair vote and you didn't get it.

I know there's nothing I can do to make up for that. I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to
hold out for you. I would like to know how you are doing and what is going on with you.
You can write me any time, if you like and if there is anything I can do, let me know. I
think there is a friend of my brother's there in prison with you. Her name is Renee too. I
can't remember her last name. I knew her briefly and I thought about writing her to check
UI1HG1. uiK io iii iui mui uti luu. a van i iiuaguie wuai lis mic uciug ill uicic. ngjuii, 11

there is anything I can do or that you need, just ask.

I hope you are doing well and I will pray for you. Take care and do not give up hope. I'm
hoping you will get to see day light outside ofthose walls again one day.

Sincerely,

c,
Jand Hardee