Jurors Speak Out on Del. Waterboarding Case - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Jurors Speak Out on Del. Waterboarding Case

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Melvin Morse Melvin Morse

GEORGETOWN, Del. - It will be two weeks Thursday since a jury found former Milton pediatrician Melvin Morse guilty of waterboarding his step-daughter. He was found guilty on six of eight counts, one felony and five misdemeanors.

In the aftermath of this controversial case, jury members are now speaking out about the decision. One alternate juror said Morse should have been found not guilty.

Barbara Passwaters spent three weeks sitting in that small courtroom in Georgetown, watching videos and photos flash across the wall. She heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, including the young girl who said her father had waterboarded her. And at the end of it all, she said the wrong verdict was made. 

"It was an emotional up and down," she said looking back at the case. "It was an eye opener."

Passwaters said she had major concerns with the credibility of the state's witnesses. She said both the wife and daughter of Morse had lied under oath before, and she said it was reasonable that they did so again. She also thought it was hard to find Morse guilty in a case with such a limited amount of physical evidence. 

"I just don't understand," she said. "What did they see in court that I didn't. You know - to find him guilty is to me unacceptable." 

But others on the jury did not agree. Robert Anderson, one of the jurors also sat in that room for weeks on end. But he said sitting in the deliberation room, something Passwaters didn't do, helped him put it all together. 

"The consensus of everyone in the room is that the events happened," he said. "The real negotiation came with regards to reckless endangerment to the first degree - chance of death - reckless endangerment in the second degree - chance of injury." 

As for the waterboarding, he said the group looked at Morse's temper. They made a pie chart, separating times when Morse acted "properly" and times when he acted less appropriately to his step-daughter.

"Melvin testified that the child - the victim in this situation - would push his buttons," he said. "And he would push hers. Our interpretation of that is that Melvin would get mad. And what happens when you get mad? You lose control."

Morse's attorneys have indicated that they will file for an appeal, although this won't happen until sentencing is complete.

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