Addam Swapp wrote a letter to reporters the day before his sentencing, but instead of an angry "revelation" it simply raises questions about a legal question.
It also mentions "the other points of injustice that have been continually perpetrated against us in this court."The three-page, handwritten letter was addressed "To the Press!" Written on Thursday, it concerned an allegation that one of the jurors on the panel that convicted him and three relatives had researched a point of law himself, and consulted a police officer about it.
When the allegation surfaced, Swapp's lawyers moved for a retrial. But after a meeting with U.S. District Chief Judge Bruce S. Jenkins, the request was withdrawn Thursday.
Swapp began by writing that although lawyers in the case are under an order not to talk with reporters, "I have received no court order attempting to keep me silent."
With capitulation and punctuation corrected, Swapp wrote:
"He (Jenkins) told my attorneys that he would ask Mr. --- (the juror) the questions. He asked him two questions - 1) `During the jury deliberations, Mr. (the juror), did you speak to anyone else about the trial, besides fellow jurors?' Mr. --- said, `No.'
"The second question the judge asked him was, `During jury deliberations, did you see any evidence that was not presented in court?' Mr. --- again said, `No.'
"The judge then told the defense attorneys not to ask Mr. --- any questions, but to direct their questions to him."
Swapp wrote that one of his lawyers started to ask whether the juror spoke to any law enforcement officer during the trial. "The judge stopped the question by saying, `That is highly improper and he will not answer that.' "
The letter says Jenkins forbade Swapp's lawyers from talking with an investigator, whom he named, about the juror.
"What really happened?" Swapp asked. "What is being hidden?"
He concluded, "There is now an order from the judge that the attorneys will not talk to the press. What is the judge's worry? If he had nothing to hide, then why all the secrecy? These are questions that need to be answered."
The letter is signed, "Respectfully, Addam W. Swapp."