smoke signals…

Posted on Tuesday 27 February 2007

The jury is wearing jeans!

The scuttlebutt raced like a battlefront bulletin Tuesday through the five dozen prosecutors, defense attorneys and reporters camped in the federal courthouse awaiting a verdict in the perjury trial of ex-White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Most trial lawyers and reporters believe jurors dress up when they expect to reach a verdict and don casual clothes if they’ve still got lots of work to do.

The secrecy of jury deliberations provides precious few clues about where juries are headed.

“It isn’t like electing a pope, where there are smoke signals after each ballot,” said Edward B. MacMahon Jr., a Virginia attorney who defended Zacarias Moussaoui against charges related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Waiting for the Libby Verdict is excruciating. The commentors at firedoglake banter back and forth, coming and going from work [or sneaking a peak from work computers]. The retired set and the home-bodies lurk around waiting for word that the Jury is coming in. It’s been a very long 1325 days since Novak leaked Valerie Plame’s C.I.A. identity, but now it’s come down to this waiting game. I like the idea of the smoke signals they use when they’re electing a pope. It would give all of us Plame Watchers something to do other than have anxious banter.

At the end of the day today, the jury sent a question to the judge, but we never got to hear what it was. My thought was:
So there was this Paul Newman movie, The Verdict. He was an alcoholic lawyer who took a case that reformed him. In the movie, the climactic moment was when the Jury asked a question – something like “Can we award more damages than the plaintiff asked for?”

Until tomorrow morning, I’m going to pretend that the jury is going to ask, “Can we add some perjury charges of our own?” and “Can we include Vice President Cheney in our verdict?”
For tomorrow, I’m planning to spend the day meditating on my favorite Zen Poem:
sitting quietly,
doing nothing.
spring comes,
and the grass grows by itself… 

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