Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dress up day...

So, I thought I was being extremely festive today... not only did I dress up my four year old daughter in red, white, and blue for camp, I even wore a red tie to work. That's nothing though.

In the Jose Padilla trial, jurors showed up today all dressed up. Row one in red. Row two in white. And row three in blue. I'm not kidding.

And this isn't the first time the jury has dressed up. A week back, all of the jurors (save one) wore black.

So what do you make of this. On the one hand, the jury might just be having some fun. This is a long trial and it's not a one hour Law and Order show. It's boring.

Perhaps the jury is unified, which might be a poor sign for the defense. If everyone is thinking the same way at such an early stage, defense lawyers get nervous. Or the prosecution might be concerned because this is obviously a happy jury. Happy juries during a terrorism trial might not be good.

The trial is in recess until next Monday so the lawyers will have plenty of time to make themselves crazy over what all this means.

Any thoughts?

Happy Fourth of July!
UPDATE -- Curt Anderson says that in addition to the black and the red, white, and blue, last Friday all the women wore pink and the men blue. What is going on? Anderson also details how the government expert Rohan Gunaratna was scolded by Judge Cooke today for appearing on CNN yesterday. Dan Christensen and Jay Weaver explain here that the expert is under attack by the defense.


Rumpole said...

Personally, I like a jury with a sense of humor, and I think that is all that the dress up shows.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Does anyone else think that this sounds suspiciously like scenes from Grisham's "Runaway Jury"?

Symbolic behavior by a jury indicates coordination and can also be a form of communication to someone in a position to read the code.

The formal requirement for jurors is that there be no deliberations about the case prior to the instruction and deliberation stage, but the understanding of the "normal way" that juries are supposed to proceed, is that the jurors as supposed to remains basically individuals until they start to deliberate. For example, this suggests that the jurors may already have a powerful "de facto foreman".

Counsel are in a very hard spot here. The prosecution has no recourse if the jury acquits inappropriately; but jeapordy has attached, so mistrials are permitted only in isolated circumstances. The defense has to weight whether to make an objection to preserve an appellate issue, knowing that a potentially favorable jury might be thrown out if the judge agrees, forcing a mistrial and new trial, or whether to ride this out.

Clearly, any time the jurors are focused on something other than testimony this is a bad thing on the part of some lawyer who is boring the jury. Did this happen in both prosecution and defense parts of the case, or in only one? If only one, this could be sending a message about how interesting and credible each side's evidence is believed to be.

Anonymous said...

seriously, who is the buffoon who hasn't figured out they are boring the jury to death. Move it along counsel, move it along.

Zep said...

On the Libby jury, we all wore red on Valentine's Day.

This jury is wearing red white and blue for the Fourth of July.

It wasn't a sign of anything then and it should not be read as one now. It's simply a way to relieve the tension and boredom of being in the courtroom for all those hours. It's hard to keep up, believe me, when it's summer and you're thinking about what to put on the grill rather than what a poor case the government is putting on.

Anonymous said...

Really? You were on the Libby Jury? What do you think about the President's move on the sentence?

Short Stories said...

My oh my, where did everyone run off to? I was looking for Florida short sales and found that short sales is not what this article is about. It is about Florida and not Florida short sales. Oh well.