The jurors who decided the fate of serial killer James Randall this month made up perhaps the best organized panel to ever sit in judgment in Pinellas County.
At the trial's end, when they began going over evidence against the Palm Harbor window installer accused of strangling Clearwater prostitutes, the jurors requested an easel with a pad of paper to diagram their deliberations.
After a few hours, as night fell, Chief Judge Susan Schaeffer asked them if they were ready to order dinner. Foreman David Bernstein, a real estate lawyer, told the judge there was no need for that. The jurors had brought their own food.
When they returned to court with a guilty verdict, Schaeffer told them they would have to pick a day to come back to consider what penalty Randall should get. Bernstein said they had already discussed that and decided on the following Friday.
And when they returned for that last phase of the trial, to vote 12-0 to recommend Randall die in the electric chair, they brought food again.
The menu this time was barbecue.
WHAT ABOUT THE BRIEFS VOTE? Readers of some Times editions learned last week that mayoral candidate Bill Klein is willing to reveal (well, not literally) what kind of underwear he wears (boxers) but not his favorite restaurants. It seems Mayor David Fischer considers it a badge of honor that he did not answer the underwear question.
"I will have gotten through this election without saying if it's boxers or briefs," he was reported boasting at a candidates' forum.
HOPING TO BUMP THE TAX: So far, most of the campaign paraphernalia regarding the March 25 Penny for Pinellas referendum, has promoted the 1-percent sales tax. But if you see a "Vote No on the Penny for Pinellas Sales Tax" bumper sticker, it probably will be on a car headed for 100 Pierce St. in Clearwater.
More than 200 residents of the high-rise condominium that fronts Clearwater Harbor are opposing the 10-year extension of the tax, and they have printed up bumper stickers to encourage others to do the same.
Pinellas County and Clearwater city officials want to use more than $20-million of the $1.4-billion the tax is expected to raise on the new Memorial Causeway Bridge.
Pierce 100 residents say the new bridge, which would take drivers from the mainland to Clearwater Beach, would ruin their view. Many of them paid a pretty penny for that view..
"I have three of them on my car," said Pierce 100 resident Sophia LaPolla.
"My kids said they were voting for it, and I said "No you won't; you'll ruin your mother's home.' "
_ Times staff writers Jen Pilla, Craig Pittman and Adam Smith contributed to this report.