Trouble in the Stevens Jury: Juror Number Nine Triggers Hearing

For most of the trial, many observers were waiting for the infamous temper of Sen. Ted Stevens (R. Alaska) to be unleashed before the jury. It now appears that the attention should have been directed on the ninth juror from the left. The other jurors have formally requested that Judge Sullivan replace Juror Number Nine who has reportedly been causing a ruckus in the jury room. It is only the latest problem in this star-crossed trial. Prior evidence of prosecutorial misconduct now joins juror misconduct in the trial of Ted Stevens.

It did not take long. Deliberations only began just before noon on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan received a note saying, “We, the jury, requests that juror number nine be removed from the jury. She is being rude, disrespectful and unreasonable. She has had violent outbursts with other jurors, and jurors are getting off course. She is not following the laws and rules as stipulated in the instructions.”

Sullivan responded: “I have an obligation to ensure that there are no violent outbursts in the jury room.”

The judge granted the request of the jury of eight women and four men to be excused early because of “stress.”

It is never clear how such a change will impact on a defendant. It is the luck of the draw on alternates. I have one client who was saved by an alternate in a criminal trial.

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6 thoughts on “Trouble in the Stevens Jury: Juror Number Nine Triggers Hearing”

  1. Yellow Dog,
    I think the issue here is more of her allegedly unreasonable attitude to the other juors. I think the judge here is in a difficult position. He won’t be able to make anybody happy in this situation. I guess it makes sense that this case is so screwy in light of how strange Stevens is.

  2. Is this a growing trend in jury deliberations? You find a holdout juror rude, disrespectful, and unreasonable because they won’t vote your way, so you ask the judge to ditch her until you get an alternate who will. Aren’t the laws and rules a matter of individual judgment for each juror. Don’t discount the strength of group think in a situation like this.

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