Siegelman Jury Still Stuck; Some Refusing to Deliberate

Attorney Vince Kilborn spoke for his client, Don Siegelman.
Attorney Vince Kilborn spoke for his client, Don Siegelman.
Prosecutors spoke to the media Tuesday.
Prosecutors spoke to the media Tuesday.

Jurors remained deadlocked Tuesday after nine days of deliberations in the government corruption trial of former Governor Don Siegelman and three others. They also appeared to be having personal problems between them.

Given a note from the jury foreman, U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller said the jurors were still unable to agree on a verdict and that some were described as being "lackadaisical" and not participating in deliberations.

Those inside the courtroom said the jury was not in a good mood and seemed to be divided along racial lines.

Prosecutors suggested that some jurors be replaced with alternates. But the judge disagreed. Siegelman's attorneys were also opposed to the idea.

"That's baloney," said Vince Kilborn. "The government helped chose this jury and now they don't like them. Well, that's just too bad."

In the end, the judge sent the jury home with a reminder of its obligations. He said he would have written instructions Wednesday morning to encourage it to reach consensus.

"We need to give the court a chance to come up with something that is legally appropriate to tell this jury how to handle this problem," said chief prosecutor Louis Franklin."

Judge Fuller also said he would ask the foreman to report back on progress and whether extended deliberations would be fruitful.

Jurors have been at an impasse after hearing the testimony of more than 75 witnesses in the complex case against Siegelman, his former chief of staff Paul Hamrick, his former state transportation director Mack Roberts and former HealthSouth C.E.O. Richard Scrushy.

Jurors last week told Fuller they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

The judge, who earlier said they could reach a partial verdict in the 34-count indictment, instructed them then to continue working.