Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'WSJ' Reporter Writes about His Role as Juror at Uma Thurman Trial

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'WSJ' Reporter Writes about His Role as Juror at Uma Thurman Trial

Article excerpt

A Wall Street Journal reporter is sharing details about her experience as a juror in the Uma Thurman stalking trial, including some jurors' suspicions about whether her testimony was genuine.

In a story published on the front page of Wednesday's paper, Emily Steel discusses how she and 11 other jurors arrived at the decision to convict former mental patient Jack Jordan of stalking and harassing Thurman. The 37-year-old out-of-work lifeguard and pool cleaner was found guilty Tuesday on one count of stalking and one count of aggravated harassment, and faces up to a year in jail.

"Our debate centered on a surprisingly complex question: Where is the line between obsession and menace?" she writes.

In November 2005, Jordan showed up on the Manhattan set of Thurman's movie "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" with a package that included a card with a picture of a child praying, a letter that said "my hands should be on your body at all times," a photo of a headless bride and Jordan's expired California driver's license, Steel says.

"The package generated one of the aggravated-harassment charges," Steel says. "That has a different legal standard than stalking. The judge told us we had to decide whether the package was intended to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm her."

Steel says there was enough reasonable doubt that jurors couldn't convict him on that charge, and that "nearly two-thirds of the jurors said the purpose of the card was to express his love."

Observing Jordan's testimony, Steel says she "saw him as a lovesick individual who was trying to prove himself to her with these cards and objects, which he described as artworks. …

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