01 April 2004


The prosecutors must be frothing at the mouth right about now. They knew a motion to set aside the verdict would come for some reason but I'm sure they didn't expect one of the jurors to make it easy for the Defense. And then a juror steps up to the mike and starts talking about how this verdict is a victory for the average guy and how the guilty verdict may have been partially based on the fact that celebrities were in the gallery in support of Martha.

For some reason the Defense team decides there might be a reason to investigate this guy.

Et voila, it turns out that when asked if he had had previous encounters with the legal system the juror indicated none: "he had been arrested for assault on a woman with whom he was living and that he had been sued on at least three occasions." A clear lie or purposeful ommission (I haven't seen the questionare so I don't know which). The guy also tried to get money to appear on news shows in order to discuss the verdict.

As a defense attorney I must say that this is manna from the heavens. A juror who is willing to perjure himself to get on a jury and then runs for a camera as soon as the trial is over? Short of finding out that one of the jurors was actually related to a party, I'm hard pressed to think of a more compelling reason for a mistrial. I'd say that the judge will probably still reject the motion to set aside the verdict (judges are always loath to set aside jury guilty verdicts) but it makes the motion a very, very close issue. And it becomes issue number one on the appeal.

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