Chris Green was one of 13 jurors picked this month for the capital murder trial of Jorge Amezquita in Houston that was supposed to start this week, says the Houston Chronicle. Instead of opening statements kicking off a two-week trial, the process was derailed Tuesday when Green, who had been admonished not to do any outside research, said he went online to learn about “capital murder.” He then mailed a letter to the judge saying he was concerned about the “very real danger of retribution” if Amezquita were to be convicted.
Before the trial started, Green persuaded the 11 other jurors and the alternate to sign a revised copy of the letter to Judge Maria Jackson asking that their names and identities be sealed and their names not be read in open court. Green said he wrote the letter on the advice of a family friend who is a former judge and top lieutenant of Pat Lykos, the former Harris County district attorney. It was such an unusual chain of events that Amezquita’s lawyers, the prosecutors, and the judge shook their heads and sent the jurors home so the process could start over, beginning with picking a new jury.