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Guide to the
Justice Stephen G. Crane Papers
on the Bernhard Goetz Trial and Other Cases
1981–2000
 MS 3152

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on November 30, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series IV. People v. Goetz trial artifacts, 1987

Scope and Contents

Series IV contains two artifacts—a wooden plank and a paper scroll—signed by participants in the trial of The People of the State of New York v. Bernhard Goetz.

Arrangement

Items are listed chronologically.

Container 1     Title Date
Object: Artifact Autographed jury box remnant

Access Restrictions

A confirmed appointment is necessary to view this large and heavy item, which requires two people to retrieve and transport to the Reading Room.

Scope and Contents

Wooden plank (measuring 99 inches long by 8 inches wide by 1 inch thick) inscribed "SUPREME COURT—STATE OF NEW YORK PART 81" and signed by the participants in the trial of the People v. Bernhard Goetz, including the defendant. Accompanied by the following description:

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This is the actual remnant of the jury box in the courtroom at 111 Centre Street where the trial of People v Bernhard Goetz transpired. The jury box as originally constructed was too tall to permit the jurors to see exhibits displayed in the well of the court. As the trial proceeded this became evident (Transcript p. 5053). As a result, the clerk of the part, Robert Hamkalo, arranged with the New York City Department of General Services, as it then was called, to cut down the jury box overnight. He sought this unprecedented cooperation by informing the representatives of DGS that Judge Crane would praise the Department to the world press assembled in the courtroom if they accomplished this task; but if not the judge would have to inform the audience of the reason why the jury box continued to obstruct the view of the jurors. The next morning, May 1, 1987, a sign on the diminished jury box read "Don't Touch. Varnish Wet." Judge Crane, off the record, made the promised remarks to the audience and later, on the record (Transcript p. 5293–4) congratulated Bob Hamkalo and told the jurors that the diminished jury box should "enhance your abilities to discharge your obligations as the trial continues in being able to see the exhibits that are produced in the well of the court…and to be able to see the witnesses as they are on the witness stand." Following the day's proceedings, the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the Courts Within the City of New York, Milton Williams, called Judge Crane to ask how he accomplished the down-sizing of the jury box because he, Judge Williams, had been requesting this remedy for all the jury boxes at 111 Centre Street for the past 7 years!

It was also the idea of the clerk of the part to obtain the signatures of all the participants in the trial on each of the three boards that formed the excess height of the jury box. On the left in the positions in which they sat appear the signatures of the jurors: #1 James Hurley, Foreman; #2 Erniece Dix; #3 Catherine Brody; #4 D. Wirth Jackson; #5 Mark Lesly (who later wrote a book about the trial Subway Gunman: A Juror's Account of the Bernhard Goetz Trial with Charles Shuttleworth); #6 James P. Moseley; #7 Lyn (Carolyn) Perlmuth; #8 Diane Serpe; #9 Rober Leach; #10 Francisco Figuera; #11 Michael Axelrod; #12 Ralph Schreimpf; Alternate #1 Jon Patten; Alternate #2 Delphine McFadden; Alternate #3 Lou Mari Vereen; and Alternate #4 Augustine Ayala.

Also signing: Justice Stephen G. Crane; Law Secretary, Leon Schechter; Court Clerk Robert Hamkalo; Assistant District Attorney Gregory Waples; Defense Team, Barry Slotnick; Mark M. Baker; Frank King; Gillian Coulter; and Bernhard Goetz; Court Officers Jim Lawler; Dan Dolger; Clifton Murphy; Stephen Cazilas; and Artie Coardes; and Court Reporters Stephen Cohen; Joel Machlis; Nina Koss; and Hilda J. Wall.

The reverse side of the board shows the finish that was visible on the exterior of the jury box.

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[1987 May 1]
Offsite-Box: 1 Autographed jury admonition / oath

Scope and Contents

A rolled scroll of ten attached sheets of continuous form, dot matrix printer paper (measuring approximately 108 inches long by 15 inches high), with the following message and inscription (in capital letters):

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WE, THE JURORS, AGREE: TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND ON EVERY ISSUE INVOLVING THIS CASE; NOT TO DISCUSS ANY ELEMENT OF THIS CASE AMONG OURSELVES OR WITH ANYONE ELSE; NOT TO READ, WATCH OR LISTEN ABOUT THIS CASE AS IT IS REPORTED BY THE MEDIA; TO PROMPTLY REPORT TO THE COURT ANY ATTEMPT BY ANYONE TO IMPROPERLY INFLUENCE ANY MEMBER OF THIS JURY. -- JAMES, ERNIECE, CATHERINE, WIRTH, MARK, JAMES II, LYN, DIANA, ROBERT, FRANCISCO, MICHAEL, RALPH, JON, DELPHINE, LOU, AUGIE.

TO JUSTICE STEPHEN G. CRANE WITH RESPECT AND ADMIRATION MAY 28, 1987

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Signed next to their printed names by jurors James Hurley, Erniece Dix, Catherine Brody, D. Wirth Jackson, Mark Lesly, James Mosely, Carolyn Perlmuth, Diana Serpe, Robert Leach, Francisco Figueroa, Michael Axelrod, Ralph Schriempf, and alternates Jon Patten, Delphine McFadden, Lou Vereen, and Augustine Ayala.

1987 May 28

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