MONTGOMERY, Ala., Nov. 17, 2006 -- There is a difference of opinion among some of the jurors who served during the government corruption trial against former Gov. Don Siegelman and businessman Richard Scrushy.
Some of the jurors say there was outside information brought into the jury room by jurors #7 and #40 and others say there was no outside information brought into the process.
As the judge outlined the questions he would ask this morning, the defense seemed pleased at the broad range of questions while the government that some of the questions in the words of acting U.S. attorney Louis Franklin, "were more than necessary. But that's the Court's call."
Franklin says there was "absolutely nothing" in the testimony "that indicated the jury was influenced by anything other than the evidence."
Juror #22 started things off right away, referring to juror #7, the foreman, "He said he looked up on the Internet what a foreperson's function was and what was required. This took place after we elected him. He didn't bring us anything to view. He just said he looked up as to what his job was. " But asked about the often discussed foreman's book, #22 told Judge Fuller it was the one provided by the court and to her knowledge there was "nothing in the book not provided by the court...After we elected him, the next day he came back to say he looked up some information to see what he was supposed to do." She says he did not show them or tell them anything specifically.
Juror #38 says,"One of the jurors said one of the TV stations had all the proceedings on there and that was mentioned." Juror #7, the foreperson, is the one who said this. It was brought up one day about a pamphlet and allegedly the following was said by a juror,"Well you can go to the Internet and get it. There's nothing on there that we're not hearing anyway," is what the foreperson supposedly said to other jurors.
"He didn't bring up specific details," according to #38. #38 says #7 was the only one who discussed this type of information.
Another juror, #66, says "There was talk about information that was on the Internet." #7, #40 said they had been on the Internet according to #66.
As to #7, the foreperson, "He said the role of the foreman and just other information related to the process and he may have downloaded ...when he came back he brought in detailed information about how he should consider each one of the charges." She says it was about the indictment and looked up information on one of the defendants who is not here today, how long he had been with his employer.
She says he "did bring in documents...we didn't see the hard copy but he did bring it in."
She says #7 spent time talking about it on the second full day about the role of the foreman. She says he had his hand in his jacket at one point.
She says on the counts of the indictment he researched, #7 had information charge by charge but she didn't see any of the information. "He didn't read it...but he had it."
She says regarding one of the defendants he spent about 10-15 minutes talking about the defendant that was acquitted. She says she did not see the information.
With regards to juror #40. #66 says #40 went to the Internet and put her evidence into the different charges. She says #40 said she read an article on the trial. "She said something about it but I don't remember exactly...She said she did talk about the article and made a comment about the writer."
She says #40 looked at the indictment on the District Court web site. #66 says #40 looked at it over a weekend and took notes on each count of the indictment.
Juror #40 later admitted she had gotten a copy of the indictment off the Middle District court's Web site. Another juror said no one brought or discussed any outside information into the jury room.
Juror #8 basically has no knowledge of extraneous information in the jury room. The judge says he has heard from other jurors that the foreperson had discussed information from outside with the jurors and asks if anything was discussed with #8 and #8 says no.
Juror #30 says there was a discussion "among ourselves" about possible exposure to extraneous information. #30 says #40 talked."The juror just said that that the whole trial was on the Internet daily." He says "This was during the whole trial." "She just said that the trial was on the Internet." He says the juror did not disclose any of that content to other jurors "to his knowledge."
When asked if anyone else had been exposed to information he said the thought #7 had knowledge of the Internet.
"30 says, #7 was "dictating and briefing and doing it in a court like style. He was running it like a court." He says #7 wasn't acting inappropriately.
The aforementioned Juror #4o accused of surfing the Internet says she was not influenced by anyone nor did she discuss with anyone outside the jury room. She says, "I saw a headline on the Internet, I did not read the article but did see the headline." She says she thinks it was on the Montgomery Advertiser, she says it was after the time Faulkner got their accredidation. She says she did not read anything else.
The judge says she had the right to look at the Internet. She says she didn't look at any other media sources. She says she doesn't recall what the headline was and says she did not discuss anything with any other juror. She says she did not attempt to independently verify anything about the case.
She says "I do not recall it being discussed in my presence." This in reference to Juror #7 and discussion of foreperson duties. She says she brought to the court some documents. A manilla folder a copy of the subpoena and some other documents CE6A. "It is a copy of the indictment ." She says she got the copy off the Middle District web site.
She says her copy is not different. "I just thought that it would be nice to read the indictment...you don't get the opportunity to sit and read a document of this length.: Shd says she did not bring the document in, but she may have mentioned that she had seen a copy of the indictment on the Web site. She says she talked about it maybe a minute. She says no one questioned her.
She says she may have read the document one time because she was tired when she got home. She says "I never brought any document into the jury room. I never saw anyone bring any documents into the jury room."
"I didn't hear anybody talk about anything like that - no."
One of Scrushy's attorneys, Art Leach, said he wasn't going to say anything until the end of the day when testimony was complete. But that wasn't the case with the new kid in the Montgomery courtroom. Scrushy attorney Jim Parkman said during the lunch recess, "Downloading the indictment is not a concern. It's what went with it and that's what the concern is and we'll see what other jurors have to say." Parkman says, "That means other information that was gained that they filled in to the indictment as to what the evidence is...that is my concern."