'This is not reality TV,' Menendez judge tells jurors as they resume deliberations

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 04:25:55 AM. U.S. District Judge William Walls sent the panel back with slightly new instructions to continue deliberations
NEWARK --The judge in the federal corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez told jurors Tuesday morning that they should take as much time as needed in the deliberation room and that they should not feel the need to hurry. Jurors returned to the courthouse a day after telling the judge Monday afternoon they were deadlocked on all charges, but U.S. District Judge William H. Walls refused to declare a mistrial following the word from the jury. "I hope you had a good dinner, and more importantly, I hope you had a good sleep," Walls told the jurors when they returned to the courtroom Tuesday. The judge also gave new instructions to the jurors before they began deliberations. "This is not reality TV," he said, instructing jurors that they shouldn't hesitate to re-examine their own views. "This is real life." The panel - with one new member as of Monday - has been deliberating for more than a week in the case of the New Jersey Democrat, who is accused of taking lavish bribes from his co-defendant, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, in exchange for intervening in government matters on the doctor's behalf. Menendez is also accused of intentionally concealing from the Senate Melgen's gifts by omitting them from his annual disclosure forms. After the jurors were sent back to the jury room to deliberate, defense attorney Abbe Lowell objected to Walls' comments to the panel that other juries had been able to reach verdicts after being similarly deadlocked -- remarks the attorney...Read more
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