Discarded Verdict Form in High-Profile Death Penalty Case May Be Focus of Appeal
Posted Dec 2, 2009 12:51 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough
Jurors in a high-profile death penalty case in Illinois announced Nov. 10 that they'd reached a verdict in the case against Brian Dugan.
But a few minutes later, they resumed deliberations.
Their ultimate verdict was death. But the judge handling the case has informed defense attorneys that the original discarded verdict form, signed by all 12 jurors, called for Dugan to be sentenced to life in prison, the Chicago Tribune reports.
DuPage County Judge George Bakalis intends, if asked, to pass the form on to the Illinois Supreme Court to review during the mandated appeal of Dugan's death sentence.
Dugan's lawyers are trying to find out what happened to change the minds of two jurors who initially resisted voting for the death penalty. "I don't think anything like this has ever happened before. We just want to clarify the record to find out exactly what occurred," Steven Greenberg told the Daily Herald.
The Daily Herald reports that the two jurors in question have told the paper that they initially resisted a death verdict, but kept an open mind until a review of evidence resolved lingering questions. They reported to the paper that no one was pressured.
Dugan is set to be formally sentenced Dec. 16. He was convicted of the 1983 rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl from Naperville, Ill.