These are Elizabeth Koch's notes on the Martha Stewart trial.
Judge Miriam Cedarbaum spends the early morning hours reciting a condensed version of her jury charge, defining in minute detail circumstantial evidence, unanimity and accomplice witness testimony. She invokes Douglas Faneuil in the latter, "I caution you to scrutinize the accomplice's statement with particular care. Ask yourselves would he benefit more from lying or telling the truth? Did he believe his interests would best be served by testifying falsely or truthfully?" Slam dunk for the defense.
On every count—eight between them—Cedarbaum emphasizes absolute concurrence. "In order to reach a guilty verdict, all jurors must agree that the defendant made at least one false statement or concealed at least one material fact within any given count, and that he or she did this knowingly, willingly and willfully, purposely disregarding the law. It's not enough that some of you agree on one and some the other. The decision must be unanimous."
Throughout her two-hour lecture, only on one instance only does Cedarbaum's language veer from abstract, cyclical legalese: she tells a story (of sorts) to explain circumstantial evidence: "Suppose the day was sunny when you arrived here today, that the blinds were drawn, and someone walks in the room with a dripping umbrella. Then someone else comes in with a dripping raincoat. You may have no direct evidence that it's raining, but based on a combination of fact, reason, and common sense, you may infer that it is." The description chimes in my ears like poetry, like "Bohemian Rhapsody"; from that you may infer the morning was dull as ditchwater.
Around 12 p.m., shortly after the jury's dismissed for deliberations, Cedarbaum receives a note.
"A note!" she chirps. "My jury's had an opportunity to bond," she says, smiling at the yellow college-rule paper as if it were a photo of her grandchildren. "They request to have lunch now so as to include the substitutes, who'll be dismissed once they begin deliberating."
Her kiddies pass forward two more notes throughout the afternoon, requesting a phone chart of the calls in and out of Peter Bacanovic's office on December 27, Faneuil's testimony on the same, Annie Armstrong's message logs, Peter's cell and office phone records from 12/27, and SEC officer Helen Glotzer's testimony regarding Peter's February 13 statements. They want one of FBI agent Catherine Farmer's documents, but they can't have it. It's not in evidence.
There is a popular theory that Judge Cedarbaum despises the press; the evidence in support of it is more direct than circumstantial. She says she keeps close watch on her jurors out of respect for their privacy, but her policies seem imperial. Screw the public; they needn't know what goes on here. This is my show. Kind of like what defense attorney Robert Morvillo says about the SEC folk—they run their interviews any damn way they please.
Case in point, an unfortunately smarmy-looking media lawyer crawls out of the floor vents mid-afternoon, during jury deliberations, and approaches the podium. I can't hear his questions, but no matter: Her Honor's response renders them moot on arrival.
Judge: I've never in my eighteen years of practice been asked for the juror's addresses.
Judge: In this district and this circuit I'm unaware of any case where the addresses have been requested, let alone granted.
Counsel: I respectfully disagree...
Judge: That was not a criminal case. While we're comparing states, the rule in Connecticut is that neither the address nor the names are released.