Wednesday, May 25, 2011

James Fayed Penalty Phase Verdict Watch Day 2

Note: Friday May 20th's testimony has been updated to include Renee Goudie. Sprocket.

9:05 am: I'm inside department 109 for the second day of jury deliberations. When I arrived only the bailiff was here. He informed me that the jurors had not yet buzzed to start their deliberations.

A few moments later, Lori comes out from the back and says hello. After I got comfy in my little "cave area" the court reporter arrived and is now setting up.

Yesterday, the jurors in the James Fayed murder case started their deliberations about 3:pm and continued their deliberations until around 4:15 pm.

At approximately 3:30 pm yesterday, a note was sent to the judge asking for clarifying information on CALJIC jury instruction number 6.35. (You can read the resolution of that issue at the very end of my entry yesterday that covered the closing arguments as well as the first hour of deliberations.)

It is ghostly quiet in Dept 109 at the moment.

I missed seeing Jose Baez deliver a jaw-dropping opening statement yesterday in defense of his client, Casey Anthony, but I did get to read ritanita's excellent recap as well as the write-ups by our blogging friends donchais, of Calls For Justice and Kim of The Darwin Exception. I highly recommend their coverage of the case.

9:08 am: Judge Kennedy arrives and informs Sean that the elevators are broke again.

9:09 am: BUZZ! The jurors are present and accounted for.

9:15 am: I am still working on my edit of last Friday's penalty phase testimony and will be working on that most of the day today unless a verdict is reached. If y'all have a question or comment, please drop me a line at my E-mail addy or leave a comment on the blog. I will try to answer as best I can.

9:35 am: The pretty DATELINE producer, Jessica arrived a few minutes ago and she's working on her laptop at the other end of the last bench row.

9:50 am: Nothing new to report. Lori answered a phone call and it was for the court reporter who is up this morning. I finally know her name. It's Lynn (sp?). We had a short chat yesterday. Lynn grew up in the very same surrounding areas of Oxnard, Camarillo, and Moorpark, where the defendant and the victim were from.

10:21 am: If anyone watches CBS 48 Hours, they will be rerunning their story on Bruce Lisker. (I think that link will work direct to the episode video ad.)

10:24 am: Two sheriffs drop into 109. They greet Sean, have some short chit-chat and then head directly into the back room area towards Judge Kennedy's chambers. I have no idea why they are here and I bet I wouldn't get an answer if I asked. The ticking of the clock on the back wall seems especially loud today.

10:26 am: For those of you who haven't been to the downtown criminal court building, there used to be a large open parking lot directly behind the court building. Across Hill Street and behind the Hall of Records building on Temple, was an open plaza called The Court of Flags, because there were about 20 flag poles with various historic state and national flags.

Those two areas have been completely torn up and are under construction to develop an open and connected park-like plaza behind the two buildings. I find it ironic that we have the money to build these two park structures, but we don't have the money to upgrade the elevators in the criminal court building, or even replace the burnt-out light buttons to let you know your floor selection has been pushed. I can't tell you how many times I've been in these elevators when they've totally overrode the floor selections and suddenly went to the top floor and then came all the way back down. It's my understanding that Judges don't use the public elevators. I believe they park in the underground garage and take elevators just for them and the sheriffs.

11:02 am: BUZZ! BUZZ! The jurors exited the courtroom and appear to be taking a break.

11:18 am: A few of the jurors start to file back in.

11:22 am: BUZZ! The jurors have started deliberating again.

11:24 am: BUZZ! BUZZ! Sean goes in to check. He comes back out and goes to Lori's desk.

11:25 am: Now Sean goes back into the Jury room area and Lori I think is starting to make calls.

I hear the words "chalkboard" between Lori the court clerk and Sean, the bailiff. Maybe the jurors want something big to write on?

11:33 am: Sean comes out of the jury room and says, 'I found some Lori.'

11:34 am: Judge Kennedy came out to find out if the jurors wanted anything. Sean explains he found something. I guess what they wanted were those big huge sheets on a tablet that you can put up on an easel and write on. That's my best guess.

11:59 am: Sean heads to the jury room area, then comes right back out.

12:02 pm: BUZZ! BUZZ! I think the jurors are taking lunch.

1:11 pm: I'm heading back upstairs from lunch.

1:31 pm: The jurors file in.

1:33 pm: BUZZ! The jurors are deliberating again.

1:35 pm: Judge Kennedy enters her courtroom back from lunch and asks if her jurors are back in the jury room. Sean replies, "Uh-hum." (Yes.)

1:37 pm: I can hear the court clerk Lori typing on her keyboard from across the room. She is in the far diagonal corner from me. I've got a keypad cover on my keys to dampen the sound of my macBook but they are still make a bit of noise.

2:19 pm: Lori and Lynn have a brief discussion about a transcript wording. Other than that, it's as quiet as a monastery in here.

2:41 pm: Sean just went to get a snack out of the vending machine on the 9th floor. He just came back. That's how exciting it is here on verdict watch in Dept 109.

2:49 pm: BUZZ! BUZZ!

2:50 am: The jurors file out for an afternoon break.

3:01 I take the time for a restroom break and at the last moment, go to the vending machines for a candybar. I don't take my purse with me, I leave everything in the courtroom. After going through the exit, pass security and the elevators to the vending machines, walking back through the security scanner, it goes off, as usual. I know it's my belt that sets it off, but still, the sheriff still has to have me put my arms out and he passes the wand all over my torso. It's really over-the-top at times. When I pass through the first floor security screening, my belt never sets off those two scanners.

3:04 pm: A few of the jurors file back in.

3:08 pm: BUZZ! The jurors are back deliberating.

3:38 pm: A woman comes in that I've seen behind the clerk's desk before, and heads back behind Lori's desk. She's obviously court staff. She speaks to Lori. Apparently "one" of the juries (in a two jury trial) in another courtroom, NOT this case, has come back with a verdict. That must be difficult logistics finding an extra courtroom jury room for a two jury trial.

4:04 pm: Sean announces to the gallery: "The jurors are leaving in five minutes, so nothing's happening today."