Juror Tom Hanks Leads To Mistrial Request and Reduced Charge
Last week, Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks reported for jury duty, being assigned to a domestic assault case that ended today in a reduced sentence indirectly because of Hanks.
As the proceedings wrapped on Tuesday, the prosecution revealed that another attorney from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office had improperly interacted with Tom Hanks outside of the courtroom, thanking Hanks for doing his civic duty. As a result, defense attorney Andrew Flier requested a mistrial, citing prosecutorial misconduct. In a mistrial hearing held earlier today, both the defense and prosecution agreed to a lesser charge, disturbing the peace and a $150 fine. Under the original charge of domestic assault, Flier’s client was facing a one-year prison sentence.
Flier admitted that he was initially concerned about a star of Hanks’ caliber being on the jury,
"I think because of his celebrity status and because of his personality, I think (the jury) would have followed him."
However, after the preliminary interview with Hanks, Flier felt that Hanks was going to be a fair and balanced juror, adding that Hanks made no effort to try to get out of jury duty. Flier also noted that Hanks’ presence on the jury lead to slight disturbances with press and fans trying to get pictures of Hanks outside the courthouse, to which Hanks was reportedly smiling and welcoming to everyone. Flier admitted that he had no idea how Hanks would have voted had the trial reached the deliberation phase, saying that Hanks never revealed his voting intention to either attorney team, only telling them, 'I was going to vote the way of justice.'
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has confirmed the interaction with Hanks, saying the attorney’s actions will be under review.