The Seven U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday ordered a retail for Gov. James A. Rhodnes, state officials and National Guardsmen named in a $46 million damage suit stemming from the 1970 shootings at Kent State University in which four students were killed.
When a jury in 1975 cleared the defendants of damages, at least one juror had been threatened and assaulted during the trial by a person interested in his outcome," the appellate court said.
The alleged harassment occurred near the end of the 15-week trial brought by the wounded and survivors of those killed during the anti-war demonstration. They claimed the defendants failed to take adequate precautions. If prevent injuries after armed and untrailed guard-men were ordered to the campus.
It had been reported to U.S. District Court Judge Don J. Young that one juror had been threatened three times and assaulted on one occasion. But the appellate court noted, the judge did not question the threatened juro to learn what effect it had on him or whether he had discussed the threats.
The court did not identify the juror.
The other jurors "were merely told that efforts had been made to influence one of their number with alarming references in the extreme seriousness of the threats, and were left to speculate about the entire matter," the appellate court said.