Dimora Jury Deliberations to Resume Monday

Posted on: 5:10 pm, March 2, 2012, by , updated on: 01:46pm, March 9, 2012

AKRON, Ohio –

Jury deliberations in the corruption trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora have concluded for the day.

The jurors deliberated for seven hours, but did not reach a verdict. They will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

The jury was brought back into the courtroom Friday morning after making one more request for a definition of ‘Interstate’ and ‘Foreign’ commerce.  The definitions are important in the counts that include violations of the ‘Hobbs act.’

The jury deliberated for a little more than four hours on Thursday, beginning at 1:45pm.  Soon thereafter, they asked the court for a list of the more than 70 witnesses who have testified since trial began in January.

That request was denied by Judge Sara Lioi, who told jurors they should rely on their own memory of each of the witnesses.

Dimora faces more than 30 counts that include bribery, conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

J. Dean Carro, a legal professor at the University of Akron, tells Fox 8 that after eight weeks of testimony that he would not expect the jury to return with a quick verdict.

“Because of the length of the trial, eight weeks, 70-plus witnesses, it should take them a long time,” said Carro.

“We know from studies done of juries, we know from conversations with jurors that the huge, overwhelming number of juries take these matters very, very seriously.  The exception is rare,” added Carro.

“So we know this jury is going to be serious about this matter.  That will take a long time then for them to reach a decision.”

The 12 member jury panel was selected from across a large area that makes up the Northern District of Ohio.  Each of them submitted a written questionnaire before being individually polled during jury selection.

Their knowledge of the case was not as important as whether or not what they could remain objective regardless of what they may have heard about Dimora before trial began.

Carro says the length of time they are out does not necessarily mean they are favoring one side or the other.

“In a case of this complexity, if they weren’t out for a long time that would be very surprising,” Carro told Fox 8 News on Friday.

“Being out for a long time doesn’t necessarily, in the context of this case, mean it’s going to be a government verdict or a defense verdict.  If they are conscientious, which we know they will be, it will take a long time.”

(Fox 8 Reporter Bill Sheil contributed to this report.)