Nicholas Pugliese, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record
Published 7:32 p.m. ET Nov. 13, 2017
Northjersey.com’s Nick Pugliese offers a recap after Monday’s deliberations with an alternate juror within the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., leaves the federal courthouse Nov. 13, 2017, in Newark, N.J., after jurors in his bribery trial despatched the decide a be aware saying they “can’t reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges.”(Photo: Seth Wenig, AP)
NEWARK, N.J. — After jurors slipped a be aware to court docket officers saying they had been deadlocked on felony corruption prices towards Sen. Bob Menendez, the decide instructed them to go dwelling and return Tuesday with a brand new outlook.
The be aware from jurors capped a head-spinning day on the federal courthouse in Newark, the place the New Jersey Democrat’s corruption trial is now in its 11th week.
As of two p.m., on behalf of all jurors, we can not attain a unanimous resolution on any of the fees. Is there any extra steerage? And what can we do now?
A hung jury would punctuate the trial with an enormous query mark and require the federal government to determine whether or not to attempt the case over once more.
“Go home, get a breath of fresh air or rain, or whatever it may be doing out there,” U.S. District Judge William H. Walls stated.
► Thursday: Dismissed Menendez trial juror says senator ‘not responsible on all counts’
► Oct. 30: Menendez verdict could rely on decide’s definition of bribery
► Oct. 27: What’s at stake as Bob Menendez corruption trial nears an finish
Earlier Monday, 4 jurors and three alternates instructed Walls that they’d learn or heard one thing in regards to the case since Thursday when a juror excused from deliberations precipitated an uproar by telling reporters that Menendez was harmless, the federal government was corrupt and the jury was divided.
That prompted Walls to interview the affected jurors one after the other in his chambers. After about 20 minutes, Walls emerged and instructed the jury start its deliberations “from scratch” with an alternate taking the place of the excused juror.
“You are now a new jury. You are to disregard whatever you negotiated or deliberated on last week. You’re starting afresh.”
U.S. District Judge William H. Walls, Newark, N.J.
He didn’t dismiss any of the jurors who stated they’d learn or heard in regards to the case.
“You are now a new jury,” Walls stated. “You are to disregard whatever you negotiated or deliberated on last week. You’re starting afresh.”
But 11 of the 12 jurors deliberating Monday already had spent three full days discussing the case, and it took the panel solely three hours Monday to conclude it was deadlocked.
“I believe no juror should be coerced,” Menendez stated on his manner out of the courthouse Monday. “I would hope that at the end of the day after they finish tomorrow, that those who continue to believe in my innocence will stand strong.”
Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, excused from the jury final week so she might take a long-planned journey to the Bahamas, instructed reporters she thought Menendez was “not guilty on all counts” and predicted the trial would finish in a hung jury.
The 61-year-old resident of Hillside, N.J., additionally advised that her fellow jurors had prevented her from sending a be aware to Walls and stalled deliberations in hopes of getting an alternate who was much less dug-in on her view of the case.
Menendez lawyer Abbe Lowell argued Monday morning that Arroyo-Maultsby’s claims raised the likelihood that some jurors had dedicated misconduct, and he pleaded with Walls to ask jurors whether or not the girl’s account was true.
► Sept. 21: Menendez trial query: Is each Latino or contributor a constituent?
► Sept. 6: What it’s essential know within the trial of Sen. Bob Menendez
Lowell, who was current in Walls’ chambers when the decide talked to jurors, additionally stated one juror had admitted to discussing the case with a co-worker and one other had mentioned it with a partner. Walls repeatedly instructed them all through the trial to not focus on the case with anybody outdoors the courtroom till a verdict had been reached.
Adam Lurie, a former federal prosecutor who now heads the federal government investigations follow on the Linklaters regulation agency in Washington, stated a hung jury would “call into question the government’s theory and ability to win a conviction and the government’s ability to proceed on a similar theory.”
“It’s always difficult to convince 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt to find a defendant guilty. It seems particularly difficult on these facts so far.”
Adam Lurie, former federal prosecutor
“The suggestions from the one juror who has spoken out was fairly highly effective,” Lurie said. “It’s all the time troublesome to persuade 12 folks past an inexpensive doubt to discover a defendant responsible. It appears notably troublesome on these details thus far.”
But Michael Weinstein, chairman of the white-collar protection follow at Cole Shotz in Newark, stated he thought the federal government would request a brand new trial within the occasion of a hung jury.
“If they abandon the case, it’s a recognition the case ought to by no means have been introduced within the first place, and I don’t see the federal government coming to that conclusion,” Weinstein stated.
Menendez stands accused of utilizing his workplace to badist co-defendant Salomon Melgen, a rich Florida eye physician and longtime buddy, to safe visas for his international girlfriends and to intervene in a profitable port safety contract within the Dominican Republic and a multimillion-dollar Medicare dispute.
In alternate, Menendez took bribes within the type of luxurious holidays, free flights on Melgen’s personal jets and $660,000 in political contributions, prosecutors argued in court docket.
Menendez has vigorously denied the fees, saying that he will probably be vindicated at trial and run for re-election subsequent 12 months.
► Sept. 5: GOP launches effort to strain Bob Menendez to resign if convicted
► Aug. 9: Judge rejects try to throw out Menendez’s indictment earlier than trial
In whole, Menendez faces six counts of bribery, three counts of trustworthy companies fraud, one depend of conspiracy, one depend of interstate journey to hold out bribery and one depend of creating false statements on his congressional monetary disclosures to hide the crimes. Melgen faces the identical prices besides the false statements accusation.
The fraud prices carry essentially the most critical penalty, as much as 20 years in jail.
Contributing: Herb Jackson, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record. Follow Nicholas Pugliese on Twitter: @nickpugz
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