Stevens Juror Lied to Be Dismissed
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
A juror who was dismissed from the trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) after she told the judge that her father had died in California admitted in court yesterday that her excuse was a lie: She actually left town to attend a horse race.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan declined to sanction the juror, Marian Hinnant, 52, of Northeast Washington, and allowed her to return to work after a short hearing.
A.J. Kramer, a federal public defender, represented Hinnant at the hearing and told the judge that she had been in such "a state of mind" that she could not continue deliberations.
Hinnant, holding a large packet of handwritten notes, gave a rambling statement that involved wiretaps, horses and drugs in Kentucky before Sullivan stopped her. The judge had ordered her to appear at yesterday's hearing because he has been unable to reach her since she was dismissed from the panel.
On Oct. 23, a day after the jury began deliberations, Hinnant told Sullivan that she had to leave town because her father had died in California. Deliberations were suspended.
After Sullivan was unable to reach Hinnant by phone over the next few days, he replaced her with an alternate. Deliberations resumed Oct. 27, and the jury convicted Stevens that afternoon of seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms to hide his receipt of about $250,000 in gifts and renovations to his Alaska home.
Hinnant told reporters outside the courthouse that she believed Stevens was guilty "like all the other" politicians, but she declined to say whether she would have voted to convict the senator. Later she told the Anchorage Daily News that she would have voted for conviction.
She said she did not expect the trial to last so long and had purchased airline tickets and tickets to the Breeders' Cup months ago.