Illinois' murder trial of the century

Is Drew Peterson's Color-Coordinating Jury Sending a Message?

"They want to present sort of a unified front," says jury expert Alan Tuerkheimer.

By Lisa Balde
|  Friday, Aug 24, 2012  |  Updated 1:25 PM CDT
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Call it the case of Drew Peterson's color-coordinating jury.

Last week the jurors wore red on Wednesday,  blue on Thursday and black on Friday. As the trial entered its fifth week, they wore brown, then gray. For the first time since the jury spun the color wheel, they wore alternating colors on Friday: black and white.

It's a topic of discussion, but so far Judge Edward Burmila hasn't directed them to stop.

Are they sending a message? Jury expert Alan Tuerkheimer says no.

"They want to present sort of a unified front," Tuerkheimer said. "I think they're just having a little fun with it."

Because of all the breaks, objections and calls for mistrial, Tuerkheimer said the jurors have plenty of time to talk. Since they can't discuss the case of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, being found dead in her bathtub in 2004, they seem to have connected through fashion.

As for what the color decisions, particularly Friday's black-and-white, might mean, Tuerkheimer says it's probably as simple as what they all have in their closets. 

"I don't that they're intending to send a message that relates to the case," he said, "[other than] this is an important job and we're up to the task."

He said this type of unity could soften deliberations and might mean there's more unanimity come decision time.

"But not necessarily," he said.

NBC Chicago has reporters in the Will County Courthouse for the trial. During proceedings, follow along with our Drew Peterson Trial Live Blog or follow @bjlutz on Twitter.

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