New Juror Joins Stevens Panel

Posted October 27, 2008 at 8:46am

The judge in the criminal trial of Sen. Ted Stevens welcomed a replacement juror to the panel Monday morning and directed the jury to start over in deliberating the Alaska Republican’s fate.

Stevens is charged with seven counts of failing to report gifts on his annual financial disclosure forms, including tens of thousands of dollars worth of renovations to his Alaska home that were performed by employees of VECO, a large oil services firm owned by his friend Bill Allen.

The jury began deliberating the case on Wednesday, but one juror’s father died Thursday night, and Judge Emmet Sullivan suspended deliberations on Friday.

On Sunday he decided to replace the mourning juror with an alternate.

This morning he called the alternate juror and asked her whether she still felt able to judge the case fairly. She said she could.

He then directed the jury to “start deliberations anew,” though he said that it was up to the jury to decide what that means.

The juror who was dismissed and the replacement juror are both white women, so the change does not affect the demographic makeup of the jury, which has 10 black members.