I went on medical leave two months ago, awaiting the verdict of a racketeering trial involving accused members of the Crips street gang. After sitting through the trial for weeks, the verdict came the morning I was having knee surgery.
The jury convicted five of the six men of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO. The sixth was convicted on an ammunitions charge.
A case such as this doesn’t stop with the verdict, however. Since the trial, one man has been sentenced to 10 years. Defense lawyers began filing motions asking U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten to strike down the verdicts and questioning the deliberations by the jury.
This week, I talked to the presiding juror about those deliberations.
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He said the lengthy legal instructions kept them from reaching their verdict for days, but that they carefully considered the charges. (He asked that his name not be used for his safety, because of the gang nature of the trial.)
Here’s what he said about his experience on the jury and the deliberations:
Last week, Marteaus Carter received a 10-year prison sentence. Carter didn’t go to trial. He pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to violate RICO. He also pleaded guilty to persuaded another adult person to travel in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution.
Other sentencing hearings are set in the coming months.
Meanwhile, I’m back to digging through court files and covering hearings live on Twitter.
As for the knee, I’m still limping but getting better.