For those readers of the blog who are litigators or follow litigation issues, today’s post from Professor Mike Koehler’s FCPA Professor Blog has a real treat: a guest post from the foreman of the recently concluded trial in the FCPA Sting Case. The foreman provides a detailed description of the issues considered by the jurors during their lengthy deliberations in which they (1) reached a partial verdict as to two defendants; and (2) remained deadlocked as to three defendants, resulting in a mistrial. The post provides a rare insight into the deliberations of a jury during a FCPA criminal trial.
By way of background, the trial began on September 22, 2011 against 6 of the 22 defendants who were accused of conspiring to violate the FCPA, violating the FCPA and conspiring to launder money based on their dealings with an informant who claimed to be an agent for the Minister of Defense of Gabon and the "Minister," who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. On December 22, 2011, Judge Richard Leon dismissed Count 1 (conspiracy to violate the FCPA) as to all six defendants and dismissed the Government’s case in its entirety against one defendant. On January 30, 2012, Judge Leon accepted a partial verdict, acquitting two of the defendants, Patrick Caldwell and John Godsey. On January 31, 2012, Judge Leon declared a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict as to John and Jeana Mushriqui and Mark Morales.
The piece by the foreman discusses a number of issues, including: the jury composition and working relationship; their approach to the deliberations; how they reached the partial verdict; what adjustments they made during their deliberative process; the jury’s views on the credibility of the witnesses; the jury’s view of the nature of the sting operation; and the impact of size and length of the trial. It is rare to be provided such a detailed look at a jury’s deliberations and the post is a must read for those who followed the case or trials in general.