An in-depth, behind the scenes look at Shadow Juries was offered by Kansas City's The Pitch news monthly.
The weekend before the PSF trial's start, employees for a company called Nolan Research made cold calls to Jackson County residents and said they were looking for people to participate in a market-research project. About 50 recruits who'd been promised $50 each went to a meeting at the Embassy Suites hotel near Westport. At the hotel, each was given a questionnaire to fill out and a nondisclosure agreement to sign. On February 2, 13 people received telephoned instructions to show up at the Jackson County Courthouse at 8 a.m. the next morning.
The shadow jurors entered the courtroom at the same time as the real jury and were ushered to the defendants' side of the gallery. They had been instructed not to speak to anyone except one another, which is why those who were interviewed by The Pitch requested that their identities be kept confidential.
An older man with sloping shoulders and quick, darting eyes — the shadow jurors knew him as "Jack" — was the enforcer. During breaks, the shadow jurors were herded into an isolated corner of the fifth-floor hallway. If one of the men had to use the restroom, Jack went with him. Women shadow jurors went in pairs. Any who missed a day of the trial were kicked off the project. Each night, they were expected to wait by the phone for a call from L&E Research, a company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The caller would survey their opinions of the day's proceedings.