Alston Juror Speaks Out

dsewell writes: “Elizabeth Kutchai, a member of the 2004 jury that convicted UVa student Andrew Alston of manslaughter in the stabbing death of Walker Sisk, has written an account of her experience as a juror published in the June 2005 issue of the Swarthmore College Bulletin (an alumni magazine). She is photographed carrying the issue of The Hook that ran the cover story The Verdict: Sisk’s Family Speaks Out; Kutchai’s thoughtful piece is an important supplement to the coverage and reaction that came out immediately following the verdict and three-year sentence.”

3 Responses to “Alston Juror Speaks Out”


  • all you need is the money to have good lawyers nowadays, just ask Micheal Jackson and OJ

  • I found the article to be well written and quite explanatory. I was one of those community members feeling angry at the ‘lack of justice’ but this story helps remind me of my own time on a jury and our unliked decisions.

  • I’m most disturbed by the jury’s apparent conclusion that you can’t have “malice” if you’re drunk. The jurors seem to have fallen down the “it’s usual” rabbit hole. It’s usual to binge drink, start arguments once you’re drunk, carry a knife, pull it out and stab someone 18 times once drunk and arguing… Stuff and nonsense! This juror doesn’t say what “A, B, & C” was necessary to convict on 2nd degree murder and resorts to “you had to be there” to justify an obnoxious verdict. But she’s a Quaker and everybody meant well…

    If you walk around the universe armed, you must walk around the universe prepared to kill — or be killed by that bigger person who takes your weapon away from you. If you decide to get drunk while you’re armed and can no longer differentiate between self-defense and murder that’s entirely your own volitional act and you’ve got to be held accountable for it.

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