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October 23, 2008


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I think he should send them home pretty quick. Let them cool off and get some rest (and, without explicitly stating it, contemplate the prospect of them going through all this for nothing). Juror 9 might, after some reflection, calm down and join in deliberations.

I won't pretend to know the federal rules off the top of my head, but I think if you can show a juror is "refusing to deliberate," they can be removed - which usually means an unwillingness to listen to other jurors and participate in discussions of the evidence. They'll probably have to take another shot at it tomorrow, though, just to make sure it really can't be done.

Stevens has a good shot at a mistrial if he can keep a disruptive juror on, of course - the juror everyone hates isn't going to bring anyone around to their point of view, and may drive fence-sitters into the other camp, while not changing her own mind, but as I recall, Stevens wanted to "clear his name in time for election day," and he can't really do that without an actual verdict.

I hope he'll bring them into the courtroom first thing tomorrow and give them the speech about responsibility and duty and the expense of holding a trial and how the lawyers and the court personnel have all worked very hard on this case, blah blah. Having been on the receiving end of that speech, I can say, it might help. It depends on whether there is someone in the room who can talk No. 9 down off the ledge, sort of buddy up with her to give her a friend who makes her feel less isolated but who'll she'll listen to if she starts going off the rails again. After the note they sent out, I don't see that as very likely.

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