Juror Disavows Verdict in Lodi Case

April 28, 2006

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


On April 28, 2006 the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "One of 12 jurors who convicted a 23-year-old Lodi man Tuesday on charges that he trained for holy war disavowed the verdict late Thursday, alleging that she was bullied into a guilty finding amid a pattern of misconduct by fellow panelists.

'I never once throughout the deliberation process and the reading of the verdict believed Hamid Hayat to be guilty,' Arcelia Lopez, a 44-year-old school nurse from Sacramento, said in a 2,000-word affidavit filed to the U.S. District Court in Sacramento by the defense just after 9 p.m.

Among other accusations, Lopez said the jury's foreman, near the start of the two-month trial, 'gestured as if he was tying a rope around his neck' and said, 'Hang him.' Lopez said the gesture was repeated throughout the trial and that she believed it was a reference to Hayat.

Hayat's attorney, Wazhma Mojaddidi, said Lopez's claims should prompt U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. to grant the young man a new trial. Hayat now faces 30 to 39 years in prison at a July 14 sentencing...

But one juror, speaking condition of anonymity, called the accusations 'a complete outrage' borne of 'juror regret.' The juror said Lopez changed her vote to guilty Monday, which at first made the juror uncomfortable."