An unusual situation has arisen regarding the jury in the trial of former Premier Andrew Fahie.
Local press in Florida, Miami Herald, reports that minutes after the 12-person jury unanimously agreed to convict Fahie all charges against him last week, 2 of the jurors contacted the judge to say they did not actually agree with the guilty verdicts.
This despite the fact that the jury had already been polled in court on their decision and discharged from duty.
This presents a rare predicament – can a jury’s verdict stand if members later recant their on-the-record position?
Per the report by court reporter Jay Weaver, legal experts say generally verdicts cannot be revisited post-discharge unless external pressure was applied or racism was somehow involved in a way that would have been unfair to the defendent.
Neither is believed to apply to the case here.
Fahie’s defense lawyer has requested re-polling the two dissenting jurors, if not all 12. But the prosecution argues the unanimous verdicts must stand since no “mistake” was made on the verdict form.
The matter is further complicated by constitutional restrictions on probing jury deliberations. The judge has called this scenario unprecedented and acknowledged her limited options.
One new development is that a dissenting juror reportedly left a voicemail with the defense that attorneys have not yet listened to. The contents may provide insight on the change of heart.
For now, the post-verdict juror issue injects uncertainty into the high-profile case.
Judge Kathleen Williams has since ordered both sides to file motions on the matter by this Thursday.