out [of the jury] in [for more work]

The deliberations are over, but I've got lots of work to catch up on and need to drive to DC this weekend, so no posts until next week, except this.

The case involved the sale of crack by the defendent and another man. To me, the prosecution's case was fairly tight though somewhat sloppy and poorly presented, the defense seemed scatter-shot. Much of the defense focussed on a mistake made on a police form--a mistaken number of crack packages was written down, seems like that could happen to anyone. I wish defense would have focussed less on that and penetrated more deeply into how the police could be sure that the crack taken from the alleged buyers actually came from the car that the defendent was in (A leads to B leads to C). Also, it seemed to almost come as a surprise that the police vehicle the suspect was transported in may have held someone else in it just prior to when he was in there. This was important since the police were unable to find crack on the defendent, but found it on the back seat of the patrol car after they took him to the precinct, and in hindsight, the defense should have hit that point to more than just one officer.

So, all-in-all this was a fairly easy case to decide. We found him not guilty on possession with intent to distribute because we could not be sure that the crack found in the police car was his, but guilty on conspiracy (or "conspircy" as the charge was mistakenly typed up) to distribute. Though it made perfect sense to us, this ruling perplexed the lawyers who would have assumed guilty on both counts if the defendent were guilty of conspiracy. To us, it was clear he knew what was going on and was intimately involved: he sat on the driver's side of the vehicle while three successive people came up to the car in a 45-minute timeframe; he participated in some sort of transaction, though his partner was probably the one who finalized the transaction outside of the car; he carried no ID, no money, and gave a false name when arrested. So it was clear to us (and I mean from the beginning of deliberations it was 10:2 in favor of this ruling) that he knew exactly what was going on and was intimately involved in the planning and execution of the transactions. None of us, however, felt comfortable saying that he was in possession of the drugs at any time.