Yesterday, after repeated declarations from the jury that they were hopelessly deadlocked, the Judge in the New York voter fraud trial pulled the plug and declared a mistrial, ordering the case retried. The result was unsurprising and likely appropriate considering the circumstances.
One of the jurors is now speaking out about deliberations. And what does come as a surprise is one of the reasons she says they could not reach a verdict – they were too confused.
Apparently, despite the fact that they were encouraged by Judge Pulver to take their time and work things out, and despite not being bound by any timeframe to reach a verdict, the jury allegedly tossed their hands skyward, and declared the numerous charges to be impossible to keep track of, and too complicated.
From the Times Union:
A big problem for jurors was the 103 charges they had to go through and unanimously agree on.
“It was just too many charges and no one could keep track of them,” the juror said. “If they do have another trial they may want to think about that.”
Was the jury not given notebooks, index cards, a whiteboard, etc. with which to keep track of the charges?
To be clear, there isn’t a problem with a jury unable to reach a verdict. It happens.
But while this particular jury deliberated for 8 days, they were indicating a deadlock after just a few. If one juror is claiming there were so many charges that it was hard to keep track, would it not have behooved them to take much longer to consider each one? This sounds like nothing more than laziness, an unwillingness to go through each charge because the jury was overwhelmed.
To be sure, this wasn’t the first trial to ever involve over 100 counts of a crime.
According to the same juror, McDonough and LoPorto, the two Democrats charged with over 100 combined counts stemming from the voter fraud scheme, have one person to thank. The jury had hinted at being able to come to a partial verdict on Monday, but overnight something changed.
Some jurors were disappointed with the outcome and thought they had a consensus of guilty on some counts until they reconvened Tuesday morning.
One juror, who did not want her name published, said everyone was ready to agree on 8 felony counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument against McDonough and two counts of the same felony against LoPorto but a juror changed his mind.
“We had one guy on the jury that to him it was ‘my way or no way,’ ” the woman said. “Some people sided with him.”
The two defendants were about to be convicted on 10 charges right up until one juror changed his mind. Allegedly.
Futhermore, the jury seemed to be making questionable decisions, such as a request for a small group of jurors to have a private conversation with the judge, and one juror who had called the commissioner of jurors to get their opinion on something.
The meeting request could not be granted under trial rules, and led Judge Pulver to conclude that the jurors had taken sides.
The outside phone call seems completely against protocol, though officials declined to comment.
As we’ve already stated – The real losers here are the City of Troy, and the 49+ people (that we’re aware of) who had their fundamental right as an American citizen to cast a vote stolen from them.