Libby Juror Dismissed, Will Continue With 11 Jurors

There were problems this morning with a juror in the Libby case having seen something in the media over the weekend. The juror has been dismissed.

According to Jane at Firedoglake and Aldon Haynes who is live-blogging at Orient Lodge for Media Bloggers, the defense opted to go with 11 jurors while Fitz wanted to put in an alternate and stay with 12.

If they put in an alternate, the jurors would have to begin deliberations anew. The Judge agreed to go with 11 jurors. That's what they are doing.

The dismissed juror is the retired art curator and lone juror who wouldn't wear red on Valentine's Day:

The woman who was dismissed from jury is an art history expert and scholar who formerly served as a curator of prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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    scribe (4.00 / 1) (#9)
    by cpinva on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 03:38:37 PM EST
    you have a 50/50 chance of being correct, on any individual coin toss. far better odds, i would submit, than reading the "body language" of jurors.

    well, when choosing (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 04:23:12 PM EST
    between "Hostile to my arguments" and "Not hostile to my arguments" I assume there's a 50/50 chance of being right.  That's my reality-based math though, to be sure, one's own preconceptions can clearly affect which of the two sides of the coin (i.e., how one would read body language) one would choose.

    take a long breath -- in, and out. . . (none / 0) (#1)
    by the rainnn on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 10:53:36 AM EST
    well. . .

    i think the odds of a conviction
    have just risen, and appreciably so. . .

    the contrarian is gone. . .

    so, again, we wait for fitz-mas
    to come. . .

    fitz was most likely ONLY
    concerned about losing a
    second juror -- and THEN having to restart
    everything even LATER in the deliberations -- just
    as he said in open court.

    i'll take him at his word.

    clearly, now, libby cannot appeal
    a decision to go with 11 -- and that's cool!

    it seems likely also, that the potential
    alternates were pro-prosecution. . .
    thus -- fitz wanted 12; wells wanted 11.

    time to let this one rest,
    a bit, and just. . .

    c h i l l. . .

    stop swirling your tea leaves (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 11:13:43 AM EST
    If you go over to FDL, you'll find that Wells was pleased as punch that it was this juror getting tossed, and Fitz seriously p*ssed.

    Now, whether Wells' pleasure was from revelation that the art curator was pro-prosecution, or that she was exposed to pro-prosecution information and tried to bring that in, or that she was exposed to Scooter's propaganda (which, by being ubiquitous, would contribute to pushing down the road toward a mistrial and thereby give Wells a second bite at trying this case) is a pot of tea leaves everyone can swirl and read in their own way.

    Maybe his jury consultants are telling him something we don't know....


    perhaps, scribe. . . (none / 0) (#5)
    by the rainnn on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 12:48:47 PM EST
    but several m.s.m. [television]
    sources are now reporting that the
    contrarian sought out information on
    the case, over the weekend. wild.

    as a retired art curator, she is surely
    smart enough to know that this stunt
    would get her bounced off the jury. . .

    now the "real" tea leave swirlers are
    outdoing themselves over at f.d.l. with
    speculation on why she would have intentionally
    bailed-out. . . was she really a hold-out
    vote already?  if so, for whom?

    i'll come right back to where i started:

    w.a.g. -- she was the acquittal vote; she was
    tired of fighting a losing battle, and now
    we'll have a guilty verdict before wed. night.

    pure w.a.g.

    sure is fun, though. . .


    Or Maybe... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 11:26:20 AM EST
    I think it's that the two alternates seemed disposed to the prosecution so Fitz wanted one on the jury while Wells didn't.

    Andy McCarthy at The Corner provides his theory, also plausible:

    If it gets down to 10, the chances of the judge ordering a mistrial are much higher.  It may be that Pat and Ted are factoring in that possibility -- the defense would like to get to 10 since a mistrial would be a huge win for Scooter; the government would like to avoid that, for the same reason.

    Long diliberation (none / 0) (#4)
    by Slado on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 12:40:20 PM EST

    What does this long diliberation indicate?  Is it a long diliberation in this type of case.

    Now that the juror is gone doesn't the whole make-up of the jury change or is it impossible to know?

    At what point do you think this jury will just throw up it's hands and make a decision.   As complicated as the facts are in this case the decision seems simple.    Did Libby intentionaly lie.  If he did he's guility.   If you think he did but aren't 100% sure then he's not.

    Why would it take so long?  If it does it seems like you are trying to justify your gut feeling and reasonable doubt has already set in.


    i think the alternates were pro-prosecution. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by the rainnn on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 12:56:23 PM EST
    from the f.d.l. obsessors, i've
    gathered that both alternates seemed
    very attentive to fitz -- and bored-to-
    hostile while wells offered his closing. . .

    so i think you may be right -- wells
    figures he'll do better to "dance with
    the girl he came with
    " rather than let
    one more (likely) guilty vote in. . .

    who knows?

    ps: to the person asking jeralyn why the
    jury is taking so long -- this is not a
    particularly long duration for deliberations,
    especially given the complexity of the
    evidence, and the fact that the charged crimes
    hinge almost entirely on evaluating the
    credibility of witnesses {as opposed to
    physical evidence, or a written confession}. . .

    just my $0.02. . .


    Shuster reports on MSNBC about the first alternate (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 01:52:35 PM EST
    that the first alternate who would go in expressed (what's interpreted as) palpable hostility to the defense arguments and amenability to prosecution arguments, through her body language, during the summations.

    Shuster notes that the first alternate did things like clenching jaw, crossing arms, taking copious notes during the defense summation.  OTOH, same alternate sat back, relaxed, smiled, seemed receptive during prosecution summation.

    So, swirling my tea leaves, it seems Wells looked at the lay of the land and decided it would be better to keep that scheduled alternate out and avoid that alternate's perceived hostility, rather than roll the dice for a jury of 12.

    Of course, that assumes interpretations of body language of jurors* are accurate.  Anyone will tell you that divining (a/k/a "guessing") a juror's disposition from body language is, uh, about as likely of being correct as guessing a coin toss.  

    • -
    • Note to self:  Must add to proposed voir dire: "do you play cards or watch card games on TV?  If yes, do these games include poker?"

    They currently have 13 jurors; 11 plus 2 alts (none / 0) (#8)
    by ding7777 on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 02:41:53 PM EST
    so wouldn't they need to lose 3 more jurors to get to 10?  And assuming a verdit is reached in a couple of days, wouildn't it be hard to lose 3 more jurors?