Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Corruption Trial: Juror Dismissed in the middle of deliberations

Very interesting:
In an extraordinary move, the federal judge in the City Hall pay-to-play trial replaced a juror during the 11th day of deliberations today.


The rare judicial move came hours after the judge read aloud five intriguing jury notes this morning, including one that accused a juror of not deliberating in good faith and two that suggest at least two jurors have doubts about the government's case.

One of the notes, delivered just before noon, accused a juror of illegal bias:

"I believe the following statements affect bias by a juror: 'The government lies. Prosecution made it up. They couldn't get Ron White so they made this up about Corey Kemp. They didn't play all the case. They omitted evidence... The FBI lies. The government didn't present the evidence to prove anything.'"
The move, which was fought by the defense, is pretty clearly a victory for the prosecution. A juror who clear was not voting guilty under any circumstances has been booted. That said, the judge received other notes that indicate there are some doubts about the Government's case:
"Regarding honest services fraud, if I find Corey Kemp honestly believed he was doing his job to the best of his ability and... his actions were not influenced by gifts from Ron White... but out of friendship... can I find him not guilty?"

The second note, signed by just one juror, said in part:

"One, is it permissible to discuss the fact that we have heard only selected portions of selected calls... can you consider omitted evidence? For example, the prosecution only showed what they wanted to show."
So where does that leave us? Obviously, it is more likely we will see a conviction tomorrow than we would see one yesterday, with that juror gone. But, there are clearly some doubts about the Government's case.

To me, the most interesting question is this: If you are the Street Administration, what outcome are you hoping for? A conviction, where you spin it that Corey Kemp was a rougue agent convicted for his crime, or an aquittal, where you say this shows the bug probe was BS the whole time. (But, with the tapes that have come out, we know there is pay to play, so are you then saying it is acceptable?)

Interesting stuff.


At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conviction or not, the Street Administration's reputation and integrity have been irreparably tarnished. Public support and the ability to leave a legacy have been quashed by the whole affair. Did you see that the Mayor of San Diego announced his resignation? His administration is being investigated by the Feds and he was also on Time’s list of “worst mayors”.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Ben Waxman said...

A Philadelphia juror doesn't like the FBI? Shocking.

Actually, it's not that shocking considering we reelected Street after we found out the FBI was bugging him.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This case is headed for either a mistrial or to be overturned on appeal. It's clear from the juror's comments the prosecution did not prove its case.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Anonymous:It's clear from the juror's comments the prosecution did not prove its case.

Is this true? The one comment basically asked if they could acquit the guy because he was either stupid or just a nice guy. The other comment said that it was weird that the prosecution only presented parts of the tapes that it wanted to, as if it wasn't the defense's job to present the rest if there was anything material there.

It proves not that the prosecution didn't prove its case but that the jury is looking for a way not to convict a guy who is obviously guilty.

At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It proves not that the prosecution didn't prove its case but that the jury is looking for a way not to convict a guy who is obviously guilty."

Not sure how you reached that conclusion.

The jurors' questions show that they, or at least not all of them, have not been convinced by the government's evidence. The attorneys for the defendents did not put on a defense, if you recall, just closing arguments. The jury is obligated to consider the defendents' side in their deliberations. The problem for the prosectution is that most people are familiar with selective editing, choosing words carefully, picking and choosing or whatever one wants to call the way the government used the tapes
because, sooner or later, we all do it
and we know why we do it.


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