Deplorable Holdout: How to get out of jury duty

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As I noted here, we can expect to see very few convictions in the Trump-Russian scandal.

In the recent Paul Manafort trial, we now know that 11 out of 12 jurors saw the evidence to convict Manafort as overwhelming. They wanted to convict him on 18 counts. One single jury, this one, the one I warned you about, the deplorable Trump Is My Savior juror, held out on each one. Much of the time spent deliberating was spent with the 11 sane jurors trying to convince this one deplorable juror to do the right thing.

We are lucky there were any convictions at all in this trial. And, now that everyone knows that this strategy works so well (getting off on 10 felonies that you definitely committed) you can be sure that any Deplorable in the future who would otherwise try to get off jury duty in the Southern District of New York or Washington or nearby districts will not do so, just in case they get to be the wrench in the works of democracy.

Read the details of an interview with a juror, here. The interviewed juror is herself a Trump supporter, and didn’t want, she claims, Manafort to be guilty. But the evidence on all counts was overwhelming. So that’s good news, in that she did the right thing, or tried to. But if you listen to her comments carefully, you can see her treading fairly near a line that, once crossed, does not convict the guilty as long as they are Republicans, or supported by Trump.

This was not a trial about Trump, or the campaign, or the Russians. The interviewed jury actually referred to the consideration of a Trump-Russian scandal as “shenanigans,” suggesting that if she was on THAT jury she would enter the courtroom with a strong bias to acquit. As I say here, and as this particular interview confirms.

Some will suggest that no, this is not a problem of Deplorables being everywhere, but rather, one single juror perhaps being paid off by Manafort. I wouldn’t say that is impossible, and it may well be true. But when you hear hoof beats, your first guess should be horses, not zebras. One in three Americans, based on polling data, have attitudes that predict that on a jury testing the evidence in a case against Trump, his family, or anyone in his white house, will acquit. Perhaps the only way to see justice in this situation is to try to convict every single one of them on financial (or other) crimes unrelated to the Russian-Trump conspiracy. That wouldn’t really be justice, but it would be better than this country rubber stamping a Trump style presidency by doing nearly nothing to stop it officially.

There are two people who should be ashamed of themselves (other than the members of the Trump-Putin gang).

1) The juror in question here; and

2) You, if you are one of the vast majority of Americans who see getting out of jury duty as your sacred duty. It isn’t. Getting ON jury duty is what you should be doing if you have any love for civilization.

I’m done with quietly watching people in on-line communities proudly exchanging stories and information about getting out of jury duty. Don’t do that in front of me.

Have you read the breakthrough novel of the year? When you are done with that, try:

In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback

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10 thoughts on “Deplorable Holdout: How to get out of jury duty

  1. The holdout did vote guilty on 8 counts with a maximum sentence of 80 years (though guidelines indicate perhaps a decade in reality given the lack of previous convictions, etc).

    I’m not going to pass judgement on her reasons for expressing reasonable doubt on the other 10 charges until we find out more. The Trump supporter who was interviewed and did vote guilty on all 18 charges despite her bias didn’t say anything that would indicate that it was bias rather than an honest opinion that caused the other woman to hold out. At this point we really don’t know. I’m glad the that Trump supporter who did vote guilty on all 18 counts found the evidence overwhelming. It’s also a bit disheartening to the prosecution’s case that she says the entire jury agreed to disregard Gates testimony on the stand, apparently buying into the defense argument that he was unreliable and motivated. But that wasn’t enough for 10 of 11 jurors on 10 of the counts, or 11 of the 11 on 8 of the counts. I doubt very much that the prosecution was really expecting conviction on all 18 counts, especially after the judge essentially told the jury that the case for some of those charges was weak.

    Not that jury nullification on ideological grounds never happens. The Bundy trial over the Malheur NWR occupation was clearly a case of nullification led by one very persuasive juror who also managed to get a juror who fought him kicked off the jury for bias by, essentially, lying to the judge.

    1. For instance this exchange regarding bank fraud:

      ‘The prosecution spent about 40 minutes Thursday afternoon questioning a bank employee about Manafort’s unsuccessful effort to get a $5.5 million construction loan on a Brooklyn brownstone, only to have Judge T.S. Ellis III suggest that the issue was unworthy of such extensive discussion at the trial. Notably, Ellis made the remark with the jury present.

      “You might want to spend time on a loan that was granted,” the judge scoffed as prosecutor Uzo Asonye sat down after concluding his questioning of Citizens Bank employee Taryn Rodriguez.

      That prompted Asonye, who had sat down, to jump back up.

      “Your honor, this is a charged count in the indictment,” the prosecutor said.

      “I know that,” Ellis shot back.’

      Comments of this sort undermined the prosecution’s case regarding that particular count of bank fraud (and the related conspiracy to commit bank fraud). It’s a crime to defraud a bank even if the attempt is unsuccessful, the judge was definitely out of line to suggest that it wasn’t as serious as the attempts that were successful. Same crime.

      I was actually surprised to learn that there were 10 votes to convict on each of the 10 hung counts …

    2. >disheartening to the prosecution’s case that she says the entire jury agreed to disregard Gates testimony on the stand, apparently buying into the defense argument that he was unreliable and motivated.

      That’s because under cross-examination the defense revealed Gates to be lying, particularly about lying to the prosecutors, and whether the prosecutors caught him for lying.

      >But that wasn’t enough for 10 of 11 jurors on 10 of the counts, or 11 of the 11 on 8 of the counts.
      A lot of the counts don’t rely on Gates, and have lots of documentary evidence. Manafort probably would have been helped if the jury hadn’t agreed to ignore Gates at the outset, and instead had Gates is a liar weighing on every deliberation.

    3. MikeN:

      “A lot of the counts don’t rely on Gates, and have lots of documentary evidence.”

      Much of it involving Gates, as our one Trump-supporting outspoken juror makes clear.

      “That’s because under cross-examination the defense revealed Gates to be lying, particularly about lying to the prosecutors, and whether the prosecutors caught him for lying.”

      Actually, our one vocal Trump-supporting juror indicates that what you say wasn’t actually the underlying reason for them deciding to ignore Gates testimony, but hey, keep your fantasy alive.

      I mean, your side is winning, Manafort’s only facing a max of 80 years while being a mere 69 years old.

  2. Two points.

    1) The hold-out juror should have considered that if there really was “reasonable doubt” Manafort could easily have won on appeal, and therefore she should probably have acceded to the obvious weight of evidence.

    2) The ten counts were mistrialled, and hence they can be prosecuted again should the prosecuters choose to do so.

    1. “The hold-out juror should have considered that if there really was “reasonable doubt” Manafort could easily have won on appeal”

      That is not how the appeals system works in the US Federal Court system, however it might work in your country. The appeals process only addresses structural issues with the trial itself (evidence improperly allowed by the prosecution, or denied entry by the defense – only the defense can appeal the result of a trial itself, the prosecution’s ability to appeal is limited to sentencing and the like). The US Court Circuit Court of Appeals would not address whether or not the jury properly applied the principle of reasonable doubt when reaching their verdict. Juries here have near absolute power to choose as they will.

    2. >if there really was “reasonable doubt” Manafort could easily have won on appeal, and therefore she should probably have acceded to the obvious weight of evidence.

      Is that how appeals work in Australia? Anyone else want to endorse this logic for a jury?

  3. Well, the juror who has been speaking – the adamant Trump supporter who feels that Manafort was guilty but that (and she’s essentially said this in further interviews, she’s enjoying her 15 minutes) Mueller’s indeed conducting a witch hunt against Trump – has said that she doesn’t think the holdout was a Trump supporter.

    So, please consider waiting for more evidence before passing judgement. After all, we ask that juries do the same.

  4. Turns out the hung jury may well work against Manafort in future state indictments and trials –
    “Manafort was also tried on bank fraud relating to New York and California banks. Both states have double jeopardy statutes that seem to create a potential pardon protection. But there was a hung jury on the conspiracy bank fraud charge for the California bank. California’s double jeopardy law states: “No person can be subjected to a second prosecution for a public offense for which he has once been prosecuted and convicted or acquitted.” That obviously excludes mistrials. So, California could prosecute the separate act of conspiracy bank fraud, because Manafort has never been prosecuted and convicted or acquitted of that charge.

    There was also a hung jury on the four bank fraud charges for his dealings with the Federal Savings Bank in Illinois. The state’s double jeopardy law also allows a second state prosecution after a mistrial. It is ironic that the one hold-out juror who caused a mistrial on some charges opened up Manafort to state retrials.” via https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/paul-manafort-will-likely-go-to-jail-if-trump-pardons-him-thanks-to-a-lone-holdout-juror.html

  5. But you also have the opposite effect… My chances of being on a jury are zero to none! Because in some states they have laws that prevent atheists from being selected, and I’ve worked in forensics, which means I understand more than the average juror so am harder to be conned by the lawyers. So if they google me, I’m off; if they don’t and I deny the two questions, then I may get on one.

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