In an unusual but heart warming twist, jurors have send the trial judge letters pleading with her to not disturb their verdict.
Earlier this week the trial judge struck the punitive damage award and is considering reducing it further. “You may not have been convinced by the evidence but we were,” juror Gary Kitahata said in a letter to Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos, “I urge you to respect and honor our verdict and the six weeks of our lives that we dedicated to thistrial.”
Another juror, Robert Howard,wrote that he paid “studious attention” to the evidence, closely followed Bolanos’ instruction and deliberated for several days. The possibility that “our unanimous verdict could be summarily overturned demeans our system of justice and shakes my confidence in that system,” Howard wrote.
The civil jury, as recognized by the US Supreme Court in Wyeth v. Levine, is one of the most important ways of regulating products. It is terribly frightening for all of us and our future if these jury verdicts are overturned.