Defendant Continually Surprised By Failure of Jury-Attacking Strategy

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Defense attorneys and pro se defendants, you may want to add this to your short list of jury arguments to avoid:  "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’ll kill all of you."

Also the closing argument, "That goes for your family, too."

An aggressive strategy, but one that failed for Richard Glawson, who, surprisingly, was convicted in May of multiple charges by the jurors he threatened to kill.  Specifically, prosecutors (who indicted Glawson this month with jury-intimidation charges) said that Glawson told the jury "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’ll kill all of you if you find me guilty of any one charge, and that goes for your family, too."  The story did not say why whether Glawson was represented by an attorney during that trial, which was based on a "weeklong crime spree" in 2001.  (If so, bad choice to let him address the jury, sir.)  Glawson was sentenced to a possible 45 years in prison based on those charges by a judge who Glawson apparently forgot to threaten to murder.

Jury Threatener Richard Glawson (photo: Boston Herald)
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Richard Glawson

The jury-attack strategy is not a new one for Glawson, who was also indicted on intimidation and battery charges for actually punching out a juror in another one of his trials.  I’m sure that juror still did his civic duty to carefully and impartially consider the evidence in the case, but Glawson was still convicted.  Glawson also is charged with kicking a Superior Court officer in the leg, which I guess for him would constitute thinking outside the box, and with "using restraints to break a window in the court cell where he made mosaic art out of two bologna and cheese sandwiches."

If Glawson is convicted by the jury he threatens in his upcoming trial on the juror-punching charge, that sentence will start to run after the 45 years he got for his conviction by the jury he threatened to kill in May.

One of my favorite Onion stories of all-time is "Jury Selection Proving Difficult in Trial of ‘The Jury Killer,’" but I never thought life would so closely imitate art.