Half-baked Alaska deliberation


The jury in the Ted Stevens (R-AK) corruption trial got the case last Wednesday and deliberated Thursday, apparently weathering a storm caused by one juror who was said to not work and play well with others, to the point of unspecified violence. The judge refused requests to have this juror removed. Another juror was then dismissed for family problems; they turned out, sadly, to be a death in the family and the juror has not been reachable. The judge has decided to bring in an alternate and start deliberations over from scratch today, saying that not that much work will have been lost.

RBR/TVBR observation: Stevens had good reason for wanting this trial to be over with – he’d like to finish off his re-election campaign with his name cleared. With only about a week to go, delays are not good. But conventional wisdom holds that a delayed jury is a good thing for the defendant because it means that the unanimity needed to convict is lacking. So deciding what to root for is a vexing paradox of historical trend v. the current calendar for Senator Stevens.