The Raj jury has been deliberating Raj’s guilt for 10 days now and we think we know one (small) reason why.
Suddenly the buzz at the courthouse is… is the jury enjoying this too much?
By most measures, their jury duty sucks. They’ve spent 2 months away from their jobs, and they aren’t allowed to talk about the trial with anyone, including each other, outside of the jury room.
As for their pay, here’s what they get: A $50 per day stipend (if they don’t work for the government, in which case they get nothing) and free lunch every day from their choice of 7 restaurants.
One of their favourites: a cheap deli.
Now that we’re in the third week of deliberations, one of the few things those watching the trial can do to gauge how much more time is left is to watch the jury’s lunch selection.
Yesterday, for example, the jury asked for today’s lunch menu almost directly after eating. That suggests to us that 1) the jury is somewhat unfocused and 2) they are enjoying the freebies.
But they seem to be having fun making the most of it. The jurors take frequent cigarette breaks together, and besides the temperature of the room they’re in (once it was too cold, yesterday it was too hot, so they waited for an engineer, who replaced something), they seem pretty comfortable. They’re even becoming friends. The NYPost says that 5 of them took group photos together yesterday. And they’re often heard laughing in the small deliberation room.
Another thing watchers can do is analyse the tapes the jurors request. On Monday, they requested People Support, which are part of counts #11 and #12 against Raj. There are 14 counts that the jury has to decide on. If they’re going in the order that the verdict document dictates, they’re close to deciding.
Of course 10 days of deliberations isn’t a long time by some standards. John Dowd, Raj’s defence attorney, tells the war tale of the time he spent over 7 weeks in deliberation. One of the prosecutors says he spent 2 1/2 weeks in deliberation over a less complicated case.
The metric we’re told to use as a guide is: 1 day for every count. That’s Monday the 16th, or Monday the 23rd depending on if you count the days that an alternate replaced one juror.