Experts see trouble for Calif corruption verdicts

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Associated Press

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Legal observers say guilty verdicts in a California civic corruption case may not stand because of possible juror misconduct.

Experts said Friday that notes given to the judge show jurors may have not followed instructions and could have been pressured into a decision they didn't want to make.

In one instance, a juror suggested the panel may have given an improper guilty verdict.

Jurors on Wednesday found the former mayor and four former Bell City Council members guilty of multiple counts of misappropriating public funds. They also were acquitted on other similar counts, while a sixth councilman was entirely acquitted.

The judge asked the panel to deliberate on remaining undecided counts. However, a mistrial was declared after jurors said they couldn't break a 9-3 stalemate in favor of guilt.

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