Yes, the news out of the 25th floor jury deliberation room is excellent. Excellent, indeed. No, it has nothing to do with the status of negotiations, how many counts jurors have decided, or how much work they have left (as of this writing, they have reached a unanimous decision on only two of the 24 counts).
Rather, the good news has to do with the following sentences from the jury note yesterday to Judge Zagel: “We’ve gone beyond reasonable attempts without rancor. We now ask for guidance.” Two words jumped out at me: “without rancor.” And the judge has reportedly said that people in proximity to the jury room have heard no noise or shouting–which indicates that the scene inside the jury room is calm, not volcanic. If all this is really true, then hallelujah!
Given the charges involving public corruption, the public resources expended on the case, and what’s at stake for the defendants, you want a jury that is disciplined, methodical, and calm. Jury room histrionics might make for great scenes in movies, but I can’t imagine they’re very good for justice.
Deliberations continue and they could still become rancorous, I suppose. But for now, I find it reassuring that in this criminal trial we seem to have a civil jury.