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Oprah Winfrey discusses jury service

Talk-show host says she enjoyed getting to know her  fellow jurors, but wouldn’t want jury duty again.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Oprah Winfrey said she wouldn’t want to serve as a juror in a murder trial again, but enjoyed getting to know her fellow jurors — and invited them to her show to talk about the experience.

“You’re not allowed to discuss anything to do with the trial until the whole thing is over, and so you get to know people really, really well because you’re trying to talk about everything else,” Winfrey said during a show taped Tuesday and broadcast Thursday.

Winfrey was one of 12 jurors who convicted a Chicago man of murder Aug. 18. The billionaire’s presence drew massive amounts of media attention to what would normally have been a low-profile case.

Winfrey briefly discussed the experience with other jurors who sat in the audience of her show before she interviewed Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law.

One said Winfrey asked the other jurors to sing whenever she went to the bathroom attached to the jury room to drown out the noise. Winfrey, looking embarrassed, verified the story and said one of the songs the jurors chose to sing was “Kumbaya.”

The talk-show host asked the jurors how they felt after the trial.

Several said the decision to convict 27-year-old Dion Coleman was a difficult one. They deliberated for more than two hours before convicting Coleman of first-degree murder in the February 2002 shooting death of 23-year-old Walter Holley.

“I didn’t feel like, ‘Oh gee, I put somebody away’ ... In the end it just felt sad,” said Winfrey.