It took just two hours for the jury to give 27-year-old Dion Coleman 45 years to life for the murder of 23-year-old Walter Holley.
And, beyond their immediate families, the story of how two poor young black men's lives were ruined over a row about a counterfeit $50 note would have ended there were it not for the one wealthy black woman on the jury.
For this was Oprah's trial. And as she emerged from the court room to announce that she had invited all of her fellow jurors on to her show next week, she intended to keep it that way.
She was, of course, keen to play down her role in the whole affair, holding an impromptu press conference outside the courthouse to say that she should not be the centre of attention and that celebrities should not be picked for juries, according to The Guardian.
Oprah Winfrey said she was "stunned" to find she had been picked to sit on a Cook County murder trial.
As it turns out, defense attorneys weren't keen on the idea either but couldn't persuade Judge James Linn to excuse her, according to transcripts obtained of closed-door discussions between Linn and the lawyers in the case.
After hearing Oprah say on Monday she might have a problem with Dion Coleman's refusing to testify at his own trial, defense attorney Cynthia Brown asked in Linn's chambers that Oprah be dismissed, wrote The Chicago Sun Times.
Oprah Winfrey plans to bring her experience as a juror on a murder trial to her show next week, saying her three days in the jury box were a "reality check." Winfrey was one of 12 jurors who convicted a Chicago man of murder Wednesday after a routine trial that turned into a media magnet because of the billionaire.
"I think it was an eye-opener for all of us," Winfrey said in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building, flanked by other jurors. "It's a huge reality check; there's a whole other world going on out there ... When your life intersects with others in this way, it is forever changed."
Before she was chosen for the jury Monday, Winfrey said she thought she was too opinionated to be picked. But afterward she said she was fair, stated The Winnipeg Sun.
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