At 2:40 p.m. this afternoon the district attorney’s office issued the following statement:
“The jury has announced that they have reached partial verdicts in the Anand Jon Alexander case. Judge Wesley told jurors to keep deliberating and that he will read the verdicts at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13.”
The D.A. media release claimed that the nature of the verdicts remains unknown.
Jon faces 23 counts related to accusations he sexually assaulted nine young and under-aged women between 2001 and 2007. Today marked the seventh day of deliberations – a length of time when people start whispering the words “hung jury,” even though there’s no reason why a case as complex as this would be decided in one or two days.
“A week isn’t enough to cause the government to start worrying,” points out USC law professor Jean Rosenbluth, a former federal prosecutor. “Not with 23 counts. Certainly the converse is true – if the jury comes back right away the defendant has to be quaking in his boots.”
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It is conventional wisdom, though, that a trial that is decided after a holdout juror eventually capitulates to majority opinion is headed to certain appeal.
“That’s the very thing any attorney worth his salt is going to do,” Rosenbluth says. "He’ll send an investigator to talk to the juror and get him to say, ‘I was forced to go along against my will.’”
Such a scenario took shape Monday, when Juror No. 12 told Judge David Wesley he was feeling intense pressure from other jurors to engage in discussions about the trial's evidence -- against his will. The jury foreman had, the previous Thursday, handed Wesley a note requesting that the judge remove No. 12. On Monday, defense attorney Leonard Levine asked for a mistrial, but Wesley refused both the foreman’s request and Levine's motion, and sent No. 12 back to his colleagues.
How Juror No. 12’s relationship has influenced the verdicts is unknown. It appears now that that 12 people will sleep on their secrets tonight – leaving the rest of us with insomnia, wondering what announcements will be made at 3 p.m. tomorrow. The only thing certain is that this jury is not deadlocked.