Republican Sen. Ted Stevens is on trial for corruption, and the jurors don’t seem to be getting along. Today, the jury foreman requested that one of the jurors be removed for her “violent outbursts” and for “not following the laws and rules that were stipulated in the instructions.” The judge told everyone to settle down and work things out.
The editors called for Stevens’s resignation the day he was indicted. His behavior in Congress has been disgraceful, and his stubborn refusal to step aside has threatened the Republican Party’s ability to maintain at least 41 seats in the Senate. Stevens, who is running for re-election, is down 0.6 points in the latest RCP poll average. If he is acquitted before Nov. 4, his chances might improve. If he is convicted before Nov. 4, the Democrats will take the seat.
But the news of jury infighting adds an interesting twist to the story. Let’s say the jury fails to reach a verdict before Nov. 4, and Stevens squeaks by. If he is subsequently convicted, either Sarah Palin or Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell can fill his seat with a Republican. So, if the jury is leaning toward convicting Stevens, a delayed verdict helps Republicans. If it is leaning toward acquitting him, a delayed verdict helps Democrats. Either way, it will be interesting to learn more about the juror who is causing all the fuss.