Menendez juror says television series was '95 percent accurate' | KOB 4
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Menendez juror says television series was '95 percent accurate'

Paul Reilly
November 17, 2017 10:27 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It was a trial that captivated the country. The Menendez brothers' murder trial was the first trial of its kind to be televised. This year it the gained new life when "Law and Order" went from stories ripped from the headlines to true crime.

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One of the jurors on that case now lives in New Mexico, and she followed the series to see how accurate it was.

"I deem this show to be about 95 percent accurate," Hazel Thornton said.

Thornton spent seven months in a Los Angeles courthouse, serving as juror number nine.

"The main feeling I have about the show is that it's been a gift to people like me who have been in the minority for decades about what the verdict should have been and what the penalty should have been," she said, "so it's been like therapy for me to have other people agreeing with me."

The trial ended in a hung jury. The six men on the jury voted for first-degree murder. The six women voted for involuntary manslaughter.

Thornton said following the case, things got distorted and she and the other women on the jury were mocked by people who didn't know the true story. Thornton and the other jurors were ordered to stay silent about the case, so she kept a journal during the trial as a way to process the horrific testimony she heard in the courtroom.

Years later, she turned that journal into a book.

"It should have been manslaughter in the first place and why which is what I described in great detail in my book," she said.

"So I think if it would have been tried today, the outcome would have been much different and the people more aware of domestic violence issues."

Thornton now runs Organized for Life, a service company that helps people clear clutter from their homes, offices, and lives. She still keeps tabs on what is going on with the Menendez brothers' case. She said when and if their family wishes to start a letter-writing campaign to get the brothers released, she will join in.

"Twenty-eight years is plenty for them to have been in prison, and what I know of their current lives in jail and how much they've contributed to their communities," she said.

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Paul Reilly

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