CommunityFDL Main Blog

4:30 on Day Seven

graphic courtesy Monk at Inflatable Dartboard

As Jane has warned you, at 4:30, Walton will dismiss the jury (for the day, we think), and give the jurors an instruction. I suspect he may give them tomorrow off, which will bum me out bc I want to go home and I'm not sure I can get a flight and the snowstorms are starting up again in the Midwest and I'd really like to avoid getting stuck somewhere for a day again.

Both legal teams are already in the court room. Jeffress had left the building a few minutes but he made it back in time–I guess is the test case for 15 minute verdict watch.

Wells, Fitz, and Bonamici, with a short chat. Nothing contentious, though.

Word up on the jury request–the jury has asked to leave tomorrow at 2 to attend to some issues they can't attend to over the weekend. Walton granted it. But there is apparently one more thing.


Apparently tomorrow is parent-teacher conference day in the DC schools. So perhaps the jurors want to be good parents, after having done their good civic duty for over a month. That's cool with me, I guess.

Ted Wells has his head face down on the table, shaking it from side to side. Now he he's just got his head in his hands, looking fed up. And now with a BIG yawn. Him and me both.

Okay, Walton is in.

Walton: THe reason I had you come back this evening is because apparently the jury, at least someone in the jury asked if she could get the dictionary. I told her that no, you can't have a dictionary. Obviously I need to explain why. While we try to use common language, sometimes words have a legal connotation, therefore it would be inappropriate to try to find definitions. If they have questions they need to raise it with me, so I can raise it with counsel. I can bring them in the court to do that. I know they won't be happy about coming into the court because they're not dressed to come into the court. But if you me to bring them in and instruct them here in court.

Bonaimici whipsers to Fitz.

Both Fitz and Wells say something I can't hear.


Walton mentions the note about tomorrow. I assume we won’t have a veridcy either.

Jury in.

Walton. I understand that somebody had made a request for a dictionary. We tried—or at least I try best as I can to use common language. Sometimes common language has legal connotations. If there’s any wording in the instructions, you can’t look through a dictionary to find out what the definition is. With that, since it's almost 5:00, we'll go ahead and…

Wells and Fitz approach.

Walton: let me expand upon what I said–ANY words, whether they are part of the instructions or part of the evidence, you can't look them up. If you have questions, you should make that request of me. In light of the fact that it's almost 5:00, we'll have the Marshalls take you home and we'll see you tomorrow at the normal time.


Beer Thirty 

From Jane:

Pach and I just got back from the courtroom.  The jury is having a high old time together.  They were to a one grinning from ear to ear, giggling, having the time of their lives.  Pach noted that none of them looked at Libby, and they did not seem like a group of people who were in disharmony — there wasn't one who was hanging back, nobody was pissed at somebody who was intractable. They seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the process.

As Pach and I were heading to the elevators, I told him that I suspected that the thing that was happening to the jury is what happened to people on the blogs who got into this story — they got addicted to it.  They're busy sorting through the details, peeling back layers of the onion, fascinated by the process of mutual discovery as they explore the characters and events that led up to the trial. Pach said in his shrinky expert opinion that this made a lot of sense.

I didn't get the feeling we're getting out of here any time soon. 

Previous post

Live From the Libby Courthouse

Next post

Oyez, Oyez...



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.