A juror in the trial of six Oath Keeper defendants said she and her fellow jurors were “horrified” by the treatment of an autistic defendant by his own lawyer in what appeared to be a legal “stunt,” Politico reports.
The trial resulted in the conviction of four defendants for obstructing Congress in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The juror, identified as Ellen, told C-SPAN’S Brian Lamb that several jurors were brought to tears when William Isaacs, who suffers from autism, was questioned by his attorney Charles Greene.
“His defense attorney tried to get him to fall apart by yelling at him and not letting him wear his headset,” Ellen said.
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“He was torturing his client to get us to feel sympathy.”
But it turned out to be a moot point when the judge later instructed the jury not to consider autism as a defense, meaning the incident was “a waste of time,” Ellen said.
The jury deliberated for six days, and Isaacs was among four defendants convicted on all charges, the report said. A fifth defendant was convicted of one felony count and one misdemeanor, but was acquitted on the remaining charges, and sixth defendant was convicted of one misdemeanor and acquitted on all other charges.
Greene admitted to trying to evoke the jury’s sympathy.
“The strategy was: The jury’s going to hate me, but usually when you kick a puppy, the jury hates the person who kicks the puppy but they have sympathy for the puppy,” Greene told POLITICO.
Greene said preparations for Isaacs’ testimony including checking with family members to make sure it wouldn’t lead to a medical episode, but he didn’t alert his client because he sought a genuine response.
“We had to wing it … He couldn’t be prepared for it. He couldn’t know what was coming,” Greene said.
“I was crying. I didn’t like doing it. The days leading up to it, just thinking about it, it was traumatic for me too. I had to do it in a way that came across as heartless.”