Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bonusgate Deliberations Affecting Jurors

SInce the media in Northeastern Pennsylvania are practically ignoring Michael Veon et al's Bonusgate trial SOP wants to highlight the latest from Tracie Mauriello of the Post Gazette. In this story she talks about the toll deliberations are taking in this case on jurors to this point.

We're turning on each other," one told Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis from the jury box as she and others dabbed their eyes.

"I can imagine it is hard for a jury to announce a unanimous decision," Judge Lewis said. "Juries are able to do that at most times, and we ask that you keep trying."

Jurors are considering 139 criminal charges against four defendants, including former state Rep. Mike Veon, who represented Beaver County and at one time was the second-ranking Democrat in the state House.

Judge Lewis told jurors that deliberation is not about taking a firm stand but about "talking to your neighbors. Sometimes it takes an effort on everyone's part to do that."

The exchange came as jurors ended their 29th hours of deliberations over four days, following six weeks of testimony.

"We're aware of the strain on you, all 12 of you. I'm sure it's a terrible strain," Judge Lewis said.

The jurors did indicate they came to a conclusion against one defendent in the case. However, their deliberations continue.

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