British Columbia

Pickton juror regrets taking part in trial

A juror at the trial of serial murderer Robert William Pickton says that if he had it to do over again, he would choose not to take part in the grisly 2007 trial.

A juror at the trial of serial murderer Robert William Pickton says that if he had it to do over again, he would choose not to take part in the grisly 2007 trial.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News, the juror — who cannot be identified due to a court ordered publication ban — said the 11-month trial required him to consider unimaginably gruesome evidence and the ordeal caused significant strain in his life.

"If I could go back to when we were being selected … I would have maybe changed my answers a tiny bit, to make sure I wasn't there," the former juror said. "Not realizing at the time then how much it's going to affect my life."

Jurors in B.C. make $40 a day for the first 49 days of a trial. That increases to $100 a day from the 50th day of a trial until it's over.

"So, I'd put that extra pressure on my wife because what I was getting paid as a juror was not really all that much, compared to what I was used to making."

The trial lasted from January to December 2007.

In addition to the financial strain, he was forbidden from discussing virtually anything to do with the trial with anyone, even his spouse. But the juror said despite the relationship difficulties that restriction caused, it was a blessing in disguise.

Marriage problems

"To understand what you are going through would just make them feel bad … I kept it very quiet, even to my wife, which has caused problems in my marriage."

He said he could not have anticipated the horrible things to which he was exposed, especially the photographs of some of the evidence.

"Even just thinking about it now, just horrible pictures … That is something I could never see in my lifetime. To me, they were pretty horrific types of pictures."

Jurors in Canada are allowed to talk to news media after a trial ends, but can never publicly discuss their deliberations with fellow jurors. The judge in the Pickton case added a permanent ban on identifying jury members.

The jury convicted Pickton in December 2007 of the second-degree murders of six women. First-degree murder charges against him in connection with the deaths of 20 other women have been stayed.

Pickton is serving a life sentence in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

With files from the CBC's Susana da Silva