So, after a month of sitting in the first floor media room watching the court room on the close circuit TV, they finally graduated me to the court room!! I wanted to give a few more thoughtful impressions from my minutes in the court room–and pass on the details on the deliberation process.
I gotta say, TeamUSA sure seemed more lighthearted than Team Libby. There were smiles, they seemed relaxed, and Debra Bonamici–who looked pretty tired yesterday–looked like she, too, had gotten a good night's rest. To answer a question a lot of people asked, Fitzgerald hadn't been to Ash Wednesday Mass yet (though he was the first to scoot out of the court room, so maybe he hit the lunch time Mass I saw breaking up as I left the court house).
Meanwhile, Team Libby still seemed to be suffering from a lot of leftover tensions from yesterday. I was told when I came into the court room (a couple of hours into the day) that Wells and Jeffress weren't really chatty, though they did kiss and make up while I was sitting there. As I think I said earlier, they lost the defendant at the break. They had to send a couple of associates to hunt him down (Judge Walton, take note–already a flight risk, I say). He came in all sheepish like and spent the instructions period passing notes with the associate who was minding him. Wells still seemed pretty gloomy.
As everyone has said, the jury was very attentive. There were a couple taking notes, and one who nodded throughout. We finally learned who the final juror was–the one who replaced the juror who had to be dismissed for work reasons. Turns out we've got another PhD on this jury. It sure seems like Team Libby traded Bush haters for very well educated but apparently apolitical types.
We've gotten word as to the jury deliberation process. They'll be working from 9 AM to 5 PM, with lunch from 12:30 to 1:30. They'll work on Friday, but not through the weekend (if it goes that far). Here's the kicker: They will only give a 15 minute notice for any questions or verdict. The folks getting paid for this will camp out at the court house for the balance of the deliberation, I guess. Me, I've got to go home and take care of my doggie, who has been acting up in my absence.
Any juror questions will be answered in open court, so we'll get some sense of where they're heading (though I won't be there to liveblog it).
And Fitzgerald's spokesperson has already announced he won't be doing private interviews after the verdict. He'll make a statement in front of the court house. But then silent Fitzgerald will return to his silent ways.
I wonder what he'll have to say to us???