Until jury consultant Richard Gabriel quit as the consultant on the Casey Anthony case a few days before jury selection was to occur, I was concerned. The reason? He is one of the top jury consultants in the country. He has represented some of the most high-profile cases, and he has even written a book on the topic.
So, why would Gabriel bail ship at the last minute? It is a seemingly unprofessional thing for such a seasoned professional to do. Several possible reasons for pulling out are outlined here:
1. Maybe he already got what he wanted--notoriety and name recognition. He got the best press possible in on the highest-rated "48 Hours" show where he performed a focus group of people who ended up acquitting Casey. Mind you, it was a focus group and not a mock jury trial, which many viewers were led to believe. As a result, his name is now known and maybe that was why he took it on to begin with.
3. He may have discovered something about the case as he was doing his work that made him realize Casey was guilty and, therefore, he may not have wanted to be involved with helping get a guilty person free.
4. He may have developed a conscience as he worked on the trial and felt he couldn’t live with himself if he helped Casey.
5. He may have received threats and negative emails and feedback and calls from passionate people who believe Casey is guilty. Defense attorneys Andrea Lyons and Jose Baez have each reported receiving threats and hate-mail for defending Casey. He may have been frightened away for fear that something might happen to him or to his family.
6. If he did succeed in manipulating the jury pool in Casey’s favor and Casey was found not guilty, the hateful repercussions toward him might have been enormous.
7. Perhaps he found out the secret location where the jury would be pooled from and realized it would be a losing battle.
8. If Casey isn't acquitted, he might not have wanted such a significant loss on his pristine record.
9. He may have realized that he would never get paid, even if he were promised payment at the end.
10. He may not have had the three months to devote to this trial, working for free, if he received a paying job during those months.
11. Perhaps all the press he received from the "48 Hours" piece increased his business from attorneys to the point that he has become overwhelmed and now needs to focus on his new high-paying clients.
12. Maybe he had arrangment with Jose Baez all along to only conduct a focus group that would show Casey in a positive light for the pre-trial publicity so that both he and Baez could benefit. And maybe he never had any intention of actually engaging in the jury-selection process.
13. Maybe he didn't like working with Baez or attorney Cheney Mason and didn't want to continue working on the case with them.
14. Maybe Casey tried to manipulate him as she has done with every-other man with whom she has come in contact.
15. Perhaps he realized that picking a jury would be a losing task and he might not be successful in picking a jury, especially with the Sunshine Laws in effect in Florida that make it difficult.
16. He may have believed that the media has tainted the jury pool to such an extent that he could not choose a jury for Casey.
Whatever the reason Richard Gabriel is no longer on the team, I must say I am relieved. Initially, I was concerned there would be an unfair playing field with him at the jury-selection helm. Now there is a much better chance that there will be a fair trial.