They have been deliberating for only two days, but already the men and women judging evidence in a major NYPD bribery trial in Manhattan are whining that the two-month trial has been going on too long.
“One female juror in the trial of ex-NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant and Mayor de Blasio donor Jeremy Reichberg on Thursday asked a judge to let her off the case so she can return to her job,” reports the New York Post. “She argued the federal court trial — which ran Nov. 6 to Dec. 21 as prosecutors sought to prove that Reichberg bribed high-ranking cops, including Grant, with lavish gifts such as hookers and weekend getaways — went on a week longer than jurors were told it would.”
“I’m sorry, I just — this is taking a big toll on me,” the juror told Manhattan federal judge Gregory Woods during a sidebar, explaining that she’d been trying to do her job from home in her spare time after court. “I [have] to work … I want to stay, but the anxiety is really getting to me.”
Truculent jurors have been making headlines of late. According to KansasCity.com, Californian Christa Pehl Evans left jury duty at the Fresno Superior Courthouse last month feeling humiliated by a judge she alleges had disdain for her job as a stay-at-home mom.
“Pehl Evans, a mother of three children under the age of 7, who sometimes teaches as an adjunct professor at Fresno Pacific University, raised her hand in court during jury selection on Nov. 20, asking Judge James Petrucelli to excuse her from serving on the case, saying she needs to take care of her children. She breastfeeds her youngest and home-schools the others,” the news site reported. “She said Petrucelli’s response left her feeling bullied, and called his line of questioning anti-woman and anti-mother.
“He had this attitude toward me that I was some dumb mom, which is a broader problem in this country,” she said. “I have a PhD from Princeton, and being a mother is the hardest job I’ve ever done. I felt like I had to defend myself for mothering my children.”
Also in December, a juror yelled “Bravo, bravo, bravo!” after a criminal-defense lawyer finished his closing remarks in the seven-week Manhattan federal-court trial. The prosecutor then tried to win back the jury’s attention by singing the theme song to the “Golden Girls” TV show, including the chorus, “Thank you for being a friend.”
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