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Libby Juror Bounced For Outside Information

From Bloomberg:

Libby Juror Dismissed; Deliberations Continue With 11

By Cary O’Reilly

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) — A juror in the perjury case of Lewis ”Scooter” Libby was dismissed after being exposed to out-of- court information on the case. The judge decided deliberations would continue with the 11 remaining jury members.

The female juror came in contact with information about the case by accident, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said after discussing the situation with her, the jury foreperson and lawyers. He ruled that the juror, an art historian, could not remain on the panel.

”She did have contact with information related to this case,” Walton said in court in Washington today. ”It wasn’t intentional on her part, it was a misunderstanding of what I had been telling her throughout the trial.” …

Walton said other jurors weren’t tainted by the information learned by the dismissed juror, which he didn’t describe. To avoid the potential for a mistrial, he has instructed the jury throughout the trial not to view or listen to any news or other reports about the case.

Walton told the remaining jurors to resume deliberations. Defense lawyer Ted Wells told the judge that adding an alternate to return the panel to 12 members would require it to start over, which he said wouldn’t be fair to Libby.

By removing one juror, ”it’s not like we’re on the cliff of some mistrial,” Wells said. Walton said one of two remaining alternates could be called if another jury member is lost.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said the government preferred a 12-member jury…

It’s hard to say, but it looks like the defense may be more confident about going with the cards they have been dealt than Mr. Fitzgerald is.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 26th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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