They were separate juries considering the fates of separate defendants, but for weeks they sat side by side in a Bronx courtroom hearing much of the same evidence. Still, the juries returned verdicts that indicated anything but a common opinion of the proceeding they had witnessed.
Prosecutors had alleged that two tenants of a Bronx apartment building, the building’s former landlord and its current landlord were at fault in the deaths of two firefighters who jumped from a window to escape a fire in 2005. The prosecution said that illegal partition walls erected by the tenants to subdivide the apartments had disoriented the firefighters.The jury considering the case against the owners convicted them of criminally negligent homicide. But the jury judging the tenants who were accused of installing the walls cleared them of all charges.