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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Jury deliberations

 I feel like I am waiting for a jury in my own case.  I have waited for juries many time.  It is high anxiety time.  And when the jury announces it has a verdict, I nearly stroke out.
        Commentators have been filling the airways with theories about why the jury is taking so long.  They think it is good for the prosecutor.  No wait, it's good for the defendant.  Here is the truth.  First, the jury has not been out for an extraordinary long time.  The Oliver North jury was out 12 days.  The Scooter Libby jury was out ten days.  In both cases they were convicted.  Second, it is impossible to know what it means that the jury has been out for three days.
      The Manafort  case was very complicated.  The jury must decide on 18 separate charges.  Among other terrible things about this judge, he did not let the jury examine the exhibits until the entire pile was handed to them when they started their deliberations.  In the courtrooms where I tried cases, we were allowed to hand the exhibits to the  jurors during trial.   In this case the jurors evidently had to try to figure out which exhibit went with which criminal charge.
         I thought it was 50/50 that the jury would return a verdict today.  Now I think it's 75/25 they will return a verdict tomorrow.  I have absolutely no basis for making my prediction.  Maybe they will reach a verdict tomorrow.  Or maybe they won't reach a verdict for another week.  Regardless of when the jury reaches a verdict, I am sticking with my  prediction.  It is impossible that Manafort will be found not guilty on all of the counts.  The evidence against him is overwhelming.  The best he can hope for is one or two jurors holding out on all 18 counts.  Then it's a hung jury.    So relax.  Easy for me to say, I will be taking tranquilizers until the jury returns a verdict.  Take care all.


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