HARD AGROUND - Wreck of the Exxon Valdez - March 24, 1989



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Anchorage Daily News
Date: 09/17/94
Day: Saturday
Edition: Final
Section: Metro
Page: B1

ANCHORAGE- Twelve jurors were picked from a pool of more than 60 potential jurors who were questioned in early May during a process called voir dire. After the candidates filled out a questionnaire, attorneys on both sides asked how they felt about alcohol abuse, large corporations and large punitive damage awards, and how much they knew about the 1989 spill and Capt. Joe Hazelwood. One juror was dismissed for unknown reasons halfway through the trial. Ages are estimated on appearance, unless specific ages are given.


AGE, HOMETOWN: 30s, Anchorage

OCCUPATION: Clerk, state court personnel department

DETAILS: Smith was living in Alaska and working as a trial clerk in the state court at the time of the spill. She said she had no strong opinions about Hazelwood, "other than I know he was involved. He was the captain and he was not on the bridge at the time it happened." When she was asked if she could be fair, she said, "There is no doubt in my mind."


AGE, HOMETOWN: 40s, Anchorage

OCCUPATION: Clerk, Providence Hospital

DETAILS: Hood, born in Anchorage, was a former flight attendant for Wien Air Alaska. She likes reading John Grisham novels. Her husband is a Teamster, and she has a daughter who is studying at the University of Oregon. "I have no strong feelings about the oil industry," she said.


AGE, HOMETOWN: 34, Anchorage

OCCUPATION: Homemaker, school volunteer

DETAILS: Martin moved to Alaska from South Carolina shortly after the spill. Her husband is in the Air Force and scheduled to be transferred in 1995. They have two children, ages 7 and 12. Martin sat through the first three months of the trial; then, as the jury deliberated what to award the fishermen in actual damages, she was dismissed from the panel. The reason for her dismissal is contained in a sealed court document.


AGE, HOMETOWN: 42, Wasilla

OCCUPATION: Unemployed miner

DETAILS: Dean, in the mining business for 20 years in Colorado and Utah, moved to Alaska about eight years ago. Asked what he liked about his work, he said, "I like to blow stuff up." In 1989, he worked for Martech on the oil-spill cleanup. He said he has no views on the oil industry but has had some "go arounds" with environmental regulators. Exxon attorneys wanted to know why he wrote "BAD" on the jury form next to questions about the oil industry. He responded, "It is my initials."


AGE, HOMETOWN: 60s, Wasilla

OCCUPATION: Retired factory worker

DETAILS: Provost is a widow who moved to Alaska two years ago to live with her daughter. Until then, she lived in Indiana and Kentucky and was a factory worker and nurse's aide. She likes to read Agatha Christie mysteries. During voir dire, she said, "I've had doubts: Am I smart enough to do this?"


AGE, HOMETOWN: 34, Anchorage

OCCUPATION: Unemployed

DETAILS: Graham moved from Arizona to Anchorage 18 years ago with his family. He has relatives who worked on the spill cleanup. His mother is asthmatic, and currently he cares for her. During voir dire, he said, "I don't always believe everything I read in the newspapers."


AGE, HOMETOWN: 67, Wasilla

OCCUPATION: Bookkeeper

DETAILS: Moor has lived in Alaska more than 40 years and has six children. She has held a variety of accounting jobs, including working for Rural Alaska and the Mat-Su Borough. In the 1970s, her husband worked for the United Nations and they lived in Pakistan for three years. She said members of her family have had some problems with alcohol and she had been involved in a couple of lawsuits, but she did not understand what punitive damages were.


AGE, HOMETOWN: 55, Kenai

OCCUPATION: Fast-food restaurant worker

DETAILS: Spann lived in Alaska from 1969 to 1973, moved to Arizona, then returned to Alaska in the mid-1980s. She enjoys fishing and gardening and was working at McDonald's at the start of the trial. She has family members who have worked in the oil industry.


AGE, HOMETOWN: 30s, Anchorage

OCCUPATION: Secretary, Sand Lake Elementary School

DETAILS: Wilson has lived in Anchorage since age 11. She said she doesn't read the newspapers, she only does the crossword puzzles. She said that the 1989 spill did not affect her life and that "it was supposedly hard on our oceans and some of our friends got greedy, it changed their personalities."


AGE, HOMETOWN: 46, Palmer


DETAILS: Garrison moved to Alaska in 1982. Her husband was a setnet fisherman in 1985 and 1986. She said the only thing she knew about the spill is that "the ship hit Bligh Reef. Somebody didn't turn it." Exxon attorneys didn't want her on the jury because they feared she might have a bias against Hazelwood. Judge Holland said, "I think this is a fair-minded lady."


AGE, HOMETOWN: 46, Anchorage

OCCUPATION: Custodian, Anchorage School District

DETAILS: When Johnson came to Alaska in 1969, she worked for a fish processor. She said she doesn't read the newspapers, so after some time she didn't give the spill much thought. "Nobody got hurt so I didn't think more about it." She likes sports fishing.


AGE, HOMETOWN: 42, Anchorage

OCCUPATION: Unemployed college counselor

DETAILS: Murray grew up in Arkansas and moved to Alaska in 1990 from Memphis, Tenn. His wife is a school teacher; he was a counselor at the private Alaska Junior College until he was laid off. He is a member of the Rotary. He said his knowledge of the facts about the grounding were "a little shady right now." His fellow jurors picked him as their foreman.

Story Index:
Main | The Legal Battles
Overall: story 307 of 380 Previous Next
The Legal Battles story 56 of 87 Previous Next

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