Jury leaving early today

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Jurors sent a note to Judge Amy St. Eve this morning indicating they will leave at noon today due to a family emergency.

The court hearing this morning also disclosed the jury yesterday requested a day off May 30 -- next Friday -- if they are still deliberating.

The jury already has a scheduled day off this Friday.

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Wow, this jury is unbelievable. Great hours!

I guess I don't understand how the judicial system allows a single juror to dictate the deliberation process. My mommy called and I have to go home? My son's ex-wife is coming to get her stuff next Friday so I have to be there to help him? I would think that a prudent judge would put a halt to all this leaving early and taking days off for juror's "personal" business. Big question in my mind is, how will this effect their recollection of the fact's as they deliberate without any copies of transcript's or access to transcript's to refresh their memories after continuous "personal" interruptions in the process?

Frankly Mandelay, I'm flabberghasted at these delays as well. I've never heard of a jury taking so much time off. And the jurors seem to be taking turns coming up with these "emergencies."
And then on top of all this wasted time, they ask for days off just for the "hay" of it. Come on. This doesn't feel right.

I think that is a very fine point small town guy - the interruptions could be a problem for their recollections. I don't get it. I guess St. Eve is trying to keep the jury happy so they see this thru without hanging - but really, in this case the Nation is kind of waiting (even if more than 3/4 of the population are clueless as to what is going on in Chicago. What I don't understand is don't these jurors want this over with? I would have been inclined to work weekends just to get it over with.

these crooks would not try to illegally influence a jury, would they? our judicial is crooked, too. skiparoo.

I should note: the jury must all be present, or no one can be present. That's the rules. So yes, they unfortunately must cancel deliberations for the day even if it's just one juror who has the conflict.
While they don't have transcripts, they certainly have all the evidence introduced at trial, in addition to their notes -- and "collective memory."

I don't have a problem with the juror's request. Its a heck of a lot to ask them to spend three months sitting through testimony. Things come up.

Anyway, maybe part of it is the whole system. Lets say the government is pursuing 19 counts or so. Suppose they only pursued 10 counts. Given the sentence if he is convicted on 2 of the charges, does it really matter if he is convicted on 19 of the charges. That is still a lot of prison time and he still has another trial on business fraud.

I understand the rule that all must be present for deliberations. Looking at this from a standpoint of "who's running this show?", I question the judge allowing these juror's to take time off for personal reasons. After all, when they are selected as a juror, aren't they told that they will be expected to be present each and every day and will have to abide by the directions of the judge? In this case, it appears to me that the judge is acting somewhat "out of the ordinary", especially when she refuses to allow the juror's access to transcripts during deliberations and then let's them just take off for personal reasons, well "family emergency" may be acceptable but taking a day off because of an eigth grade graduation? The judge is making a mockery out of this trials deliberations process and that poses some serious questions from us small town people.

To clarify: the juror did not ask for a day off to attend a graduation, she asked to leave at 4 p.m. instead of 4:30 Thursday.

It is really hard to follow this trial day by day and come down to waiting for the verdict. I guess if the Judge isn't somewhat flexible with the Jurors, she risks a hung jury. Hard balance to strike for sure. I feel impatient myself - but am really wondering how Rezko - and the Gov are holding up. Suspense must really be a torture for them. - Also, I guess if he was not guilty across the board we may have had the jury back in already. Hate reading tea leaves but maybe it is a sign he is going to have to pay his debt to society.

Sure looks like a delay to let Obama clinch it so the Dems can lose.
hope I'm wrong.

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 20, 2008 10:33 AM.

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