WHEN A CAR CRASH ENDS IN TRAGEDY, A JURY IS LEFT TO WEIGH
WHETHER IT WAS AN ACCIDENT OR A CASE OF MANSLAUGHTER
ABC News' "In the Jury Room" Airs Wednesday, August 25 at 10:00 p.m., ET
Driving in her car one evening, Wendy Anderson was making a turn when she crashed into a motorcycle carrying a father and son. The father was badly injured, but survived. His eighteen-year-old son did not. Anderson, a single mother with no criminal record, had been drinking that night, but tests also showed that the motorcycle riders had evidence of marijuana in their system. Public Defender Suzanne Crawford will argue that, even though Anderson was intoxicated, she was not at fault for the accident. Prosecutor Mark Diebolt must convince the jurors that the victim is not on trial in this case, and the crash was entirely Anderson's fault. The jury will have to decide if this was a tragic accident or manslaughter-if Wendy Anderson gets to go home to her young daughter, or will face up to 21 years in prison. "In the Jury Room" airs WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
During each hour of ABC News' "In the Jury Room" documentary series, narrated by Senior Legal Correspondent Cynthia McFadden, cameras are there as prosecutors build and try a homicide case in court. Public defenders and defense attorneys also allowed ABC News to go inside the confidential lawyer-client relationship as they work to establish their defense. Judges permitted cameras to capture the action not only in their courtrooms, but also in chambers. And cameras were allowed to observe juries evaluating the evidence and trying to come to a consensus in what often proves to be a contentious process.
ABC News producers were granted total access to six homicide cases through special orders from the Arizona, Colorado and Ohio supreme courts, which cited the educational value of providing viewers with this unique, "fly-on-the-wall" view of the legal system at work. In each case, every juror-as well as the defense, the prosecution and the judge-consented to the placement of the cameras in the jury room.
Michael Bicks is the executive producer of "In the Jury Room." Rudy Bednar is the senior executive producer. George Kachadorian, Susan Kriskey and Laura Viddy are the producers.