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One by one, the rest of the guilty votes start to turn. By the time we're eating the deli sandwiches ordered for us by the court, Pam is the lone holdout.
"Those boys were someone's children. Higgs is somebody's baby, and it shouldn't be OK to just shoot him in the back and walk on with your life like nothing ever happened," Pam tells me outside the jury room.
"I don't like it, either," I say. "But I think we have to go with the instructions they gave us."
The next hour, we talk in circles. "I'll just vote the way you all want me to," Pam says. "Nobody cares what I think."
Jessica opens the jury instructions. "Instruction 17," she tells Pam. "See, if you just read that, you'll get it. Instruction 17: self-defense. That's what I tell my boys — you have to watch out for each other. You should read Instruction 17."
"I've read it, Jessica," Pam says, and retreats to the coffeepot.
"I'm just trying to figure this out, because maybe you're seeing something I'm not seeing," I say to Pam. "It's absolutely possible. So if Sisco and Higgs are talking, like you and I are, do you think he can see what Vess is doing behind him?"
She considers this. "No," she says.
"OK, we agree on that. In Sisco's mind, what do you think the last threat he saw was?"
"Probably the AR-15."
"OK, we agree on that, too. So if we agree he's seen the rifle brandished like a threat, is it reasonable to think that when he hears gunfire, he might think it's the rifle being pointed at him, or that his brother started shooting because the rifle was being pointed at him?"
I realize that we are the only two people in the room talking.
"I guess that's reasonable," she finally says.
We take votes on every count — there are eight in all, including battery and a possible second-degree murder charge if we don't like first-degree. We vote with a show of hands. Pam is the only person whose palm never goes higher than her shoulder. Then the foreman presses the buzzer three times.
The smokers go out to smoke when it's done. Pam and Anne head to the women's restroom, where there is a couch. I sit at the top of the stairs leading back to the courtroom, put my head in my hands, and stay there until I can hear the smokers coming back.
Jacob Higgs was homicide No. 78 in 2006. There would be 25 more before that year ended. In 2010, 19 homicide cases were tried in Jackson County Court — not even one-fifth of the murders reported in the same county over the same time period. (Most homicide charges here, and in most cities, are resolved via plea bargain.) Of those cases, 14 resulted in guilty verdicts, two defendants were acquitted, and three ended in mistrials. If every case starts with roughly the same pool of registered voters, the county sifts through about 1,000 potential jurors every year.
As we wait for Pam's decision, the television-news trucks have parked outside. They aren't waiting on our verdict. There's another crop of potential jurors, this time for the trial of accused "Waldo rapist" Bernard Jackson that began on our first day of deliberation.
The Jackson case has been covered constantly in print and on TV. A serial rapist terrifies people. The day after we hand down our verdict, I search newspapers, blogs and TV-station websites for mention of the Tony Sisco case. There is none.