Writing to a Speedy Trial


I learned a long time ago—and any attorney, bailiff, or judge will tell you the same—there is no predicting what a jury may or may not  do.

After hearing testimony and the attorneys’ closing arguments Tuesday morning, I had a hunch the jurors in Delonde Pleasant’s sentencing trial would return with their verdict relatively quickly.

But no one, NO ONE, thought they would come back that soon.

Twenty minutes.

The bailiff escorted the jury from the courtroom about 11:30 a.m. I couldn’t have been back in the news room five minutes when the court clerk phoned at 11:50 a.m. and said the panel had reached its verdict.

By then, the day side reporter had taken over the story and was off to hear the verdict.

That’s probably the most significant downside to anchoring the morning newscast (other than the alarm going off at 2:44 a.m.). Often a court case I’ll follow for months will reach its climatic moment in the afternoon, hours after I’ve knocked off for the day.

But in this trial the jurors didn’t even take lunch.  One vote, unanimous, and they sent word to the judge.

Talk about a speedy trial.

To read more about the case, check my earlier post Crime and Punishment, or read the story on KNDU.com 

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