MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The jury in Alabama's gambling corruption trial has begun deliberations in the two-month-long case which was only expected to last three weeks.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson sent the case to the jury shortly before 4 p.m. Friday. The judge has sequestered the jury, which will allow it to deliberate through the weekend, if necessary.
The nine defendants are accused of using campaign contributions to buy and sell votes for pro-gambling legislation.
The judge told the jury in his final instructions that the close proximity between campaign contributions and votes is not enough to prove illegal activity. He said there must be a promise to take an official action in return for the money.
The judge will be in the courthouse every day the jury is deliberating, and says the jurors can work up until 7:00 each night. Jurors are not limited on how early in the day they can start, but they must inform court deputies of their schedule.
The judge excused the jury at 3:58pm to determine their verdict. He also dismissed four alternate jurors with the understanding the not discuss the case.
The jurors can not discuss the case while on breaks, only during deliberations with the full jury present.
Everyone involved in the case will have 25 minutes to return to the courthouse once they've been summoned.
JURY SELECTS HOURS OF DELIBERATION
Saturday - 9am to 5pm
Sunday - 1pm to 5pm
Weekdays - 8am to 5pm