Judge excuses alternates in John Edwards trial
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GREENSBORO -- It was a busy day at the federal courthouse in Greensboro for the John Edwards trial, but nearly all of the activity was behind closed doors.
On more than one occasion the courtroom was emptied out so that Judge Catherine Eagles could hold private sessions with the attorneys.
There were two court sessions and two meetings in the judge's chambers. There is no indication as to what these discussions were about, but we do know that one sitting juror has been sending multiple notes to the judge about some kind of issue.
Since the jury indicated they were ready to go home and come back for another day of deliberations, this juror issue has not affected their regular activity.
"No indication that they're at a deadlock," former federal prosecutor Kieran Shanahan said. "They've asked for no further instructions and yet at least one in their number is concerned about something. Now I think you can read fairly into what this judge said when she said the jurors are healthy and they don't have scheduling conflicts. So is it a question about the process as the jurors are using in there or is it more than one juror that feels there's heavy handedness on them?"
The jury is expected to be back in court Thursday morning a little earlier at 9:15 a.m. to start day nine of deliberations.
At the end of the day the judge also addressed the four alternate jurors.
She said the sitting jurors were the healthiest she has seen with few scheduling conflicts. She said the alternates would no longer be required to be present in the courthouse during deliberations.
There was a collective sigh of relief from those jurors since they were told they could go back to their regular lives, but they will still be under the judge's orders and would remain alternate jurors.
The judge also added that after watching these jurors show up in matching colors for the past few days she will regret not knowing the color for Thursday.