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Judge's Order Hits Home for 2 Jurors

October 18, 1995| Associated Press

SAN LUIS OBISPO — It was difficult for juror Jim Hamson to obey a judge's admonition to avoid discussing the civil discrimination case outside court: Hamson's wife was on the same jury.

"After 33 years, I know him. I didn't have to discuss the case. I knew how he felt," Carolyn Hamson said. "I think he had a harder time because he wanted to convince me."

After 16 hours of deliberations, the jury told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked--with the Hamsons on opposite sides--and a mistrial was declared.

Seven jurors, including Jim Hamson, believed the evidence showed the Department of Corrections was guilty of racial discrimination for demoting a black prison worker.

Mrs. Hamson was among five who disagreed.

Nine jurors must agree to reach a verdict in a civil case.

Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy said he had never seen a husband and wife sit on the same jury.

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