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One of the beautiful things about our democratic jury system is the power it sometimes gives a group of citizens to work out tough ethical issues. I'm guessing the one holdout made a deal with the other 11 jurors to let it go to the final phase while s/he kept considering her vote, but also made it clear s/he was unlikely to vote for death and s/he voted for life because Holmes is clearly insane. Just a guess. Of course, the fact that jury's have such power also feeds into the arbitrary nature of the death penalty, which Breyer argues is now so bad it's one (more) reason capital punishment is cruel and unusual.

Meanwhile, I still want to know if Holmes' study of neuroscience influenced his beliefs or behaviors.

Thanks Eddy, I suspect your suggestion that there was an ongoing "deal" to take the process to the bitter end is right. It'll be interesting to see what juror interviews might reveal about all this in the next few weeks. And no doubt there'll be a pop-audience book or two out of all this. Maybe even something more serious, I'd hope.

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3QD Prize 2014: Marcus Arvan