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Not Guilty. Wait . . . Never Mind.

In Dallas yesterday, a jury came back with a verdict in the “Holy Land Foundation” trial. They were mostly deadlocked, but they acquitted one of the six defendants of all charges and acquitted two others of most charges.

U.S. District Judge Joe Fish polled the jurors. Three didn’t agree with the verdict (Dallas Morning News article). The judge sent them back out to resume deliberating, and when they came back an hour later two of the three had returned to the fold but the third dissenting juror held out. As a result, the case was almost entirely mistried. One defendant was acquitted of most of the counts against him, but the government was not able to get a single conviction out of the 190+ count indictment.

Who knows why a juror agrees to a verdict on Thursday and disavows that verdict on Monday? Interestingly, the jury had returned a verdict (after 19 days of deliberation) last Thursday, but Judge Fish and the prosecutors had not been available to receive it until Monday (Houston Chronicle article). In the interim, the jurors went home to their lives and, presumably, reflected on the verdict. Here are some comments from one of the jurors who would have acquitted the accused.



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