Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bulletin: Pedro Hernandez: Courier-Journal asks if 16 days of jury deliberations thus far is setting a U.S. record - and a few other interesting questions!

 "No. Jurors deliberated for 20 days, for example, before acquitting white separatist Randy Weaver and a co-defendant of killing a federal marshal in a 1992 shootout after a siege at Weaver’s cabin in Ruby Ridge, Idaho; his wife and son also died in the gunfire. In a notorious fraud case against former Tyco International Ltd. CEO Dennis L. Kozlowski and chief financial officer Mark Swartz, a Manhattan jury was entering its 12th day of deliberations in 2004 when a judge declared a mistrial after one juror reported getting an intimidating letter and phone call. Deliberations in a retrial the next year went another 11 days before the ex-execs were convicted of looting the company of $600 million. Two separate juries deadlocked after more than 18 days of debating the murder case against Lyle and Erik Menendez, two brothers accused of killing their parents in their mansion in Beverly Hills, California (a mistrial was declared in Erik’s case in the 19th day and Lyle’s on the 25th day, after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake halted deliberations for four days). Ultimately, both brothers were convicted after 20 days of deliberation in a 1996 retrial. After three former Oakland, California, police officers were accused of beating and framing suspects and falsifying reports, jurors deliberated for 56 days in 2003 before deadlocking on most counts and acquitting on several others. Deliberations in a 2005 retrial spanned more than a month before a jury again deadlocked on most counts and acquitted on others. Prosecutors decided against a third trial for the ex-officers, who called themselves the “Riders.” Civil courts have seen some even more epic deliberations. A federal jury deliberated on and off for more than four months in 2004 before finding for a mother and son who sued Long Beach, California, for refusing to let them convert homes into residences for Alzheimer’s disease patients.