Judge in Stevens Case Demands Answers From Wayward Juror

Posted October 31, 2008 at 9:06am

In an odd footnote to Monday’s seven-count conviction of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the judge in the case has ordered a dismissed juror in the case to appear in court Monday to explain why she failed to respond to the court’s efforts to reach her.

Jury deliberations were halted a week ago when one of the jurors had to leave for California to attend the funeral of her father, who had died unexpectedly.

Judge Emmet Sullivan delayed naming a replacement juror, saying he had arranged to contact the mourning juror Sunday to discuss whether she intended to return and resume deliberations.

But Sullivan was unable to reach the juror Sunday and appointed an alternate Monday morning, directing the jury to start its deliberations anew. Less than seven hours later, the jury announced that it had reached an unanimous verdict on all seven counts.

In an order issued Thursday night, Sullivan demanded that the woman — identified only as “juror seated in seat number four” — appear “to show cause as to why you have failed to respond to the court’s numerous and continued attempts to communicate with you.”

Stevens was convicted on seven counts of failing to report gifts or liabilities on his annual financial disclosure forms.