Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's The Bet On Mob Trial Deliberations?

By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

So it has come to this.

Does the jury in the trial of  mob boss Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi and six co-defendants want to deliberate on Super Bowl weekend, or will the panel, which finished its 16th day of deliberations this afternoon, come back with a verdict tomorrow?

The anonymously chosen jury of eight men and four women went at it for six more hours today without asking a question or requesting additional evidence. The panel has been holed up in the deliberation room off the 15th floor courtroom since Jan. 8.

Judge Eduardo Robreno told the jurors this afternoon that they will deliberate from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday if the process is still ongoing after tomorrow’s session. The trial, which began on Oct. 18 and extended over 10 weeks, included approximately 33 days of testimony.

Tomorrow the jury will have spent more than half that amount of time in deliberations, a virtually unheard ratio, according to veteran criminal defense attorneys.

“This is unbelievable,” said one.

The lengthy deliberations have already put a trip to Italy by lead defense attorney Edwin Jacobs  in jeopardy. Jacobs is supposed to leave Thursday  for the two-week trip, but Robreno has thus far denied the lawyer’s request that an associate fill in for him if deliberations continue deep into next week.  

When this trial began on Oct. 18 no one expected that it would  still be going at by the end of January. Now it’s heading into February.

Ligambi, 73, and his co-defendants face a racketeering conspiracy charge in addition to assorted charges of gambling, loansharking and extortion. Ligambi is also charged with fraud and obstruction of justice.

Two questions hung over deliberations today. Will the jury finish tomorrow and who do you like in the Super Bowl?  Most observers believe the odds are better at picking the Super Bowl than on when the jury will finish.    

George Anastasia can be contacted at ganastasia@verizon.net 

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