Friday, April 21, 2006

George Ryan trial...not over till it's over

Fireworks in the juror room is what CBS 2 Chicago's Mike Flannery is calling what went occurred among the 12, make that 14 jurors, on the George Ryan panel.

One of the jurors, Elizabeth Ezell, somehow managed to serve eight months on the Ryan jury without her status as a fugitive on an arrest warrant remaining unknown for six months--until deliberations in the trial had already begun.

From CBS 2 Chicago:

(Ezell) "Do I have to accept being called derogatory names, shouting profanity, and personal attacks?"

Days later, several jurors fired off their own three-page letter to the judge (Rebecca Pallmeyer), about Ezell, saying, "Evelyn is either intellectually incompetent to handle the task, or she has ulterior motives behind her actions and gets physically aggressive."

Attorneys bickered for hours over whether a wallet with a private investigator's identification card found near a juror's home would scare her into thinking defense attorneys were spying on her -- or whether asking her how she felt about it would only frighten her more.

How could a fugitive like Ezell sit for six months as a juror in such a high-profile trial? Unlike in state court, potential jurors in federal court are trusted to tell the truth about their criminal records.

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