Federal Judge Advises Jurors to Maintain Decorum During Deliberations

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A day after deliberations in the trial involving former San Jose State University athletic trainer Scott Shaw came to an abrupt halt, U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman took a moment to remind the jurors of the importance of respectful conduct during deliberations. The trial has captivated the city as allegations of sexual assault against female athletes have shaken San Jose State’s athletic department.

In a rare glimpse into the secretive world of jury deliberations, Judge Freeman addressed the eight women and four men on Thursday, warning them against bullying or antagonizing fellow jurors. Recognizing the cramped conditions of their jury room, she even offered them the option of using an empty courtroom for more space. However, differing opinions among the jurors emerged, with the foreman vigorously nodding in agreement for additional room while another juror expressing a lack of need for it.

These reminders of decorum came at the beginning of the fourth day of deliberations, as the jury continues to determine whether Shaw’s actions constituted inappropriate touching or medically legitimate treatment. The former athletic trainer stands accused of violating the constitutional rights to “bodily integrity” of four former athletes who have come forward with complaints since 2017, within the five-year statute of limitations.

The scandal surrounding Shaw’s alleged misconduct has already caused significant fallout within San Jose State University. The university president and athletic director resigned as a result of the allegations, sparking questions about why Shaw was allowed to continue working with athletes despite previous accusations from 2009. Seventeen swimmers back then had accused him of sexually abusing them under the guise of treatment.

Before sending the jurors back to the deliberation room, Judge Freeman emphasized the importance of arriving at an independent conclusion without succumbing to pressure from fellow jurors. She urged them to take their time and ensure their decision is based on their sincere beliefs.

As deliberations continue, if no verdict is reached by the end of Thursday, the jury will take a break on Friday, reconvening on Monday to resume their discussions. This adjustment was made to accommodate the scheduling needs of one of the jurors.

The trial’s outcome hangs in the balance, as the jurors play an integral role in determining the ultimate fate of Scott Shaw. As the community eagerly awaits a resolution to this harrowing case, the spotlight remains on San Jose State University and its commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its athletes.

Ryan Scott
Author: Ryan Scott

Just a guy

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