Members of DeLay Jury Speak Out
Several jurors who sat in judgment of once-powerful former U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay were speaking out for the first time today, despite the judge presiding over the case having ruled against releasing their names to media at the close of the trail. The jury ultimately convicted DeLay of both charges against him.
Courthouse speculation during jury deliberations had been that jurors were wandering off-track, as a series of increasingly odd questions was being sent from the jury room to the judge. At one point, the jury asked the judge to explain the details of a crime DeLay wasn’t charged with, and which isn’t recognized as a crime under Texas law.
One juror, Max Sandlin, said that some jurors wanted to ask questions even farther afield, including why DeLay would not be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
Two other jurors, Nick Lampson and Martin Frost, were reportedly in favor of sending the judge a note to ask if the Nuremberg Trials could re-convene, and DeLay’s fate instead be considered there.
But another juror, Charlie Stenholm, said he was content with the proceeding, and satisfied that DeLay got a fair trial.
“I think we calmed any doubts about whether a man like Congressman DeLay could get a fair trial in Travis County,” Stenholm said. “There’s no doubt that the trial was fair, and my fellow juror Chris Bell completely agrees with me,” he said.
Stenholm also offered an explanation of why deliberations stretched over several days, explaining that one juror, whom he identified as Ralph Hall, kept switching sides as deliberations continued.
Other jurors said their deliberations were further hampered because of the room in which they met. Apparently, the so-called “Lloyd Doggett Jury Room” is a difficult space in which to work, since it is only two feet wide, but almost 80 feet long.
State Representative Elliott Naishtat Briefly Hospitalized After Thanksgiving Buffet Incident
State Representative Elliott Naishtat was released from the hospital this afternoon, after a mishap involving multiple visits to several Thanksgiving holiday buffets caused him to explode.
|Naishtat, moments before mishap|
Naishtat, well known for accepting dinner invitations and for being a frequent visitor to buffet lines, was reportedly attending his ninth Thanksgiving dinner of the day, when witnesses say they heard a loud pop, just before Naishtat collapsed onto the pumpkin pie table.
“I don’t know how this could have happened,” said one witness. “One minute he was filling up his Ziplock Baggie-lined suit pockets with leftover turkey and dressing, and the next minute we were resuscitating him and calling for an ambulance,” she added.
Police at the scene said that no one else was seriously injured, although several were overcome by baby carrots.