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What we know about the jury make up in the Johnny Depp Amber Heard case

Bruno Cooke May 27, 2022
johnny depp jury make up
Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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On 11 April 2022, a jury of 11 was selected to hear the defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard – it consisted of seven jurors and four alternates. What do we know about the current makeup of the jury?

Two members of the jury in the Johnny Depp Amber Heard case seem to have been dismissed

In the last few days, images have been circulating showing the current make up of the jury box in the Johnny Depp Amber Heard defamation case.

It shows the rough ages, genders and ethnicities of the nine jurors currently observing the proceedings of the case.

But it also appears to show that two jurors have been dismissed from the case. 

CourtTV’s legal correspondent Chanley Painter, who previously served as a deputy prosecutor in Arkansas, recently shared the same graphic. See below.

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What do we know about the members of the jury assigned to the Depp Heard case?

According to the image, Painter shared yesterday, which matches one that appeared on CourtTV yesterday, as shared by another Twitter user, the current make up of the jury in the Johnny Depp Amber Heard case is as follows.

There are four individuals identified as Asian men. There are also two white men. Alongside them are one Black woman, one Asian woman, and one white woman.

The youngest are in their 20s; juror six, the oldest, is in his 60s.

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Photo by STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In her “deep jury thread” Chanley Painter notes that this week, some of the jurors have been “showing more emotion, smiling or even laughing”.

She also adds that juror #6 is “basically a statue, barely moving, not taking notes, just actively listening”. Meanwhile, juror #7’s head “frequently looks as if he is watching a tennis match”.

Juror #5 “blinks her eyes a lot”, Painter says, while juror #1 “is a good notetaker”.

As the New York Post reported yesterday (26 May 2022), Judge Penney Azcarate has granted Amber Heard’s request to seal the identities of the jurors in her and Johnny Depp’s defamation case for one year. 

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What role do alternate jurors play in Depp v Heard?

The jury is the body of people who must provide an impartial verdict after a trial of a case. Juries consist of jurors.

Alternate jurors also sit in juries. They sit, listen and observe court proceedings just as regular jurors do. But they don’t render verdicts.

However, as US Legal explains, if one or more of the jurors “become sick, injured, legally compromised, incapacitated, or has a family emergency”, then an alternate juror will become a part of the jury that renders a verdict.

In other words, they’re like backup members of the jury. So the graphic appearing to show that two of the jurors in the case have been “dismissed” suggests that two alternates will be called up to render a verdict.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.