Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Designer Anand Jon Alexander's Rape Conviction Upheld After Juror Misconduct

From the LA Times:

A Los Angeles County judge upheld the sexual assault conviction of Beverly Hills fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander on Monday, ruling that a juror's contact with the defendant's sister before the verdicts did not prevent a fair trial. Attorneys for the Indian-born designer argued that the conviction should be thrown out, alleging that the juror sought sex or money from the defendant's sister toward the end of last year's trial and voted to convict her brother when she refused to meet him alone.

Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley ruled that the juror, Alvin Dymally, committed misconduct by approaching Sanjana Alexander twice in the courthouse and speaking to her on two occasions when she phoned him. Wesley also said he believed the juror lied when he denied under oath ever speaking to Sanjana Alexander before the verdicts. But the judge found that Dymally's actions did not affect the jury's guilty verdicts. [...]

Alexander, 35, who goes by the professional name Anand Jon, was found guilty in November of raping one woman and sexually assaulting six other girls and young women. The conviction carries a mandatory life prison sentence.

This ruling makes sense to me as does the decision to hold both the juror and Anand Jon Alexander's sister in contempt of court. If Ms. Alexander felt this juror was endangering her brother's due process rights she should have reported him immediately.

What this feels like is that Ms. Alexander saw this juror's interest in her as an opportunity and decided not to do report this juror in the hope that leaving him on the jury would result in a deadlocked verdict if the other jurors all believed the prosecution had proved her brother's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and if her brother was found guilty then this contact could then be used to try to undo this trial.

Her statement that if she had agreed to meet in person with this juror that her brother would not have been convicted supports this theory. If any of Alexander's legal team was involved in recording phone conversations between Ms. Alexander and this juror those people should also be held in contempt of court for not reporting this juror's misconduct before closing arguments.

In the recording which was transcribed Ms. Alexander responded to the juror's request to meet after the trial with, "Definitely, we will."

This type of misconduct on behalf of the defendant should not be rewarded.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:41 AM   0 comments links to this post


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