Judge Robert Love Taylor said today he is tired after the 12-week trial of Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel, and anxious to leave the "brick and mortar" of Baltimore to "walk on the grass" back home in Tennessee.
But he said that before his plane leaves (at noon Thursday) he wanted to talk again with some of the reporters who had shared the courtroom with him during the trial.
In a 45minute conversation, he spoke of his concern that the judicial process should be speeded up, said that the trial of the late former Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner at which presided saved him work in the Mandel trial, and noted that at 77 he doesn't consider himself old.
He was "very much concerned," he said, that the Mandel trial would end in a hung jury.
"All sides want a verdict and the court wants a verdict. It doesn't matter what it is. An acquittal would have been all right with me. But I spent almost a year on this case, and to spend three months (in the courtroom) and not get a verdict would have been unthinkble for me."
Several of the defense attorneys had complained that Taylor moved thinks they didn't move fast enough.
"I'm convinced the courts must do something to expedite the trial of these lawsuits," he said. "A threemonth trial is just too long . . . I think if the judges and lawyers don't find some way to expedite these trials the citizens will go somewhere else, to another tribunal, to settle things."
Taylor declared that "the Mandel case was not my most difficult case. The case that really got under my skin more than any other was Kerner. He was a brother judge and we sat in the same courthouse and he was above me in judicial rank." The former Illinois governor was a federal appellate judge.
"But the work I did in the Kerneer case saved me about half the time I would have spent in this case . . . the law I proved was used in this case."
Like the Mandel trial, the Kerner case involving a racetrack stock deal. The difference between the two cases, he said, was that Kerner's did not involve racketeering.
In 1973, after a jury returned a guilty verdict, Taylor sentenced Kerner to a threeyear prison term.
Taylor declined to answer friendly but persistent questions of whether he felt justice was done for Marvin Mandel, nothing that he expects he will have to rule on motions for a new trial from defense lawyers.
He also remarked that "until I came to Baltimore, I rarely knew my age. Then every day at breakfast, lunch and dinner, I'd read (news accounts referring to) 'the 77yearold judge.'"
His father was elected governor of Tennessee at the age of 72, Taylor recalled, anddidn't die until he was 83.