Hal Neilson’s jury foreman said about noon that they may be able to decide on one more count, but they are hopelessly deadlocked on the others.
Obviously, I’m not surprised by the the discussion reported in Patsy Brumfield’s rolling account of today’s events:
11:24 Attorneys called to the courtroom.
11:49 – Judge Aycock says the jury has a question. (She’s shares question with the attorneys.)
(Aycock apologizes to the courtroom participants that the room is frigid. She says they’ve had a unit malfunction, and that the jury room would be very hot, if the courtroom temp weren’t so low.)
Salomon confers with a new guy from Baton Rouge about the jury question. They look at a statute.
Neilson friend, attorney Duke Goza, explains what he knows to the crowd on that side of the room.
OK, Aycock says. As to the first question, if we agree some charges but deadlocked on others, will the counts we agree on will be retried?
Judge – I think they should not concern themselves about whether other charges will be re-tried. Numerous factors that affect a decision whether to re-try a case or charge. That decision cannot be made today. (This is what she suggests telling them this.)
Michael – I think we could just tell them no.
Judge – They say if we deadlock, will other counts be re-tried. Says she will say no.
Michael – Does that not answer both questions?
Judge – I think both things need to be said. They may be deliberating about the costs involved about re-trying.
Salomon – I’m reading Allen charge commentary. (This is about the instruction she gave them Friday about thinking about the other side’s opinions to re-focus on the charges they haven’t agreed on.) Says 5th Circuit essentially approved, that if you fail to agree on rest of counts, the case is basically left open to those counts.
We’re happy with your proposal, satisfactory to the United States.
Judge – Here’s what – I’m going to call them in. Will answer their two questions. Then I’m going to have a dialogue with this jury. We’ll work through lunch, if they think they an work through ones they think they can have movement on.
(Bailiff goes and gets jury.)
Judge – Good morning. Thank you for your service. About two issues:
You asked if we agree on some, deadlocked on others. Will agreed counts be re-tried.
Judge – You should not concern yourself with this. (See above)
Then you asked, if we deadlock on one, will others we’ve reached a verdict on be nullified?
Judge – Consider that each is separate. I will accept your decision on each one which you agreed to unanimously.
Based on your notes, looks like you’ve agreed on some. Put those aside. You’re still deliberating on some others. It’s noon, and you have all the time you need. But I want to inquire with respect only to those undecided – do you think you are so deadlocked that won’t reach agreement, or now, with instructions, might be able to address those with a determination?
Mr. Lambert – we may be able to reach verdict on one, but believe we are permanently deadlocked on the rest of them.
Judge – We’ll bring lunch in for you to continue to work. I want you to go back, re-focus. Remember your instructions, re-examine your views. After lunch, at some point, I will inquire – have you done all you can, thought about it all you can? Or at a point that you can’t reach a decision? Don’t be affected by being here on a Saturday. Time is not an issue. My inquiry is not for our sake, but as 12 people, either you can or cannot do this.
Mr. Foreman, have I answered your questions?
Lambert – I believe you have.
12:05 p.m. – Judge – do not concern yourself with the ones that will have to be re-tried. If you think you can’t make a determination, let me know.
Think about the hard work and commitment of this jury the next time you get called to jury duty.