Ben LaGuer was tried at the end of January 1984. A panel of twelve white men who had been part of the jury pool hearing cases all month sat in judgment. They voted to convict solely on the victim’s courtroom identification of LaGuer as her attacker. No physical evidence linked LaGuer to the crime or the crime scene. The jury was unaware of the victim’s history of mental illness.
Four years later one of the jurors came forward and reported:
Immediately after the jury was empanelled one member remarked about LaGuer, “the goddamned spic is guilty just sitting there; look at him. Why bother having a trial?”
During deliberations some jurors speculated about the reported duration of the crime, prompting the same juror to say that, “spics screw all day and night.”
Both during deliberations and outside of deliberations at least three members of the panel were constantly making racist remarks to the rest of the group based on LaGuer’s ethnicity.
The jury deliberations were tainted with blatant racism and extreme lack of objectivity.