The William Jefferson Chronicles

William Jefferson jurors whistled while they worked
by The Times-Picayune
Sunday August 09, 2009, 3:00 AM

The jurors who found former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, guilty of 11 of 16 corruption counts last week apparently enjoyed one another's company.

During a post-verdict conference between the prosecution and defense lawyers before a forfeiture hearing, the laughter coming from the jury room was so loud that Judge T.S. Ellis III had to signal the court security officer to ask them to quiet down. On an elevator one afternoon earlier in the trial, a jury member was heard telling three other jurors that he would bring in pictures of his dogs to share with them. The jury foreman, a former colonel with the Army who later worked as an executive at the Honeywell Corp. until his retirement, apparently was into joke-telling with a wry sense of humor. As he left the jury room for a break in deliberations last week, he encountered half a dozen reporters sitting on benches outside the courtroom doing nothing but reading newspapers and books as they awaited the verdict. "When I grow up, " the foreman deadpanned, "I want a job just like yours."

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