PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A problem juror has been removed from deliberations in the racketeering conspiracy trial of Congressman Chaka Fattah.
Right out of the gate when the jury began deliberations, one juror was not participating in those discussions.
Federal Judge Harvey Bartle has removed that juror and ordered the jury to begin deliberations anew.
The judge called the panel into his courtroom and told them “as you know juror #12 has not been involved in the last day or so” and it means they “should begin deliberations from scratch.”
After listening to the month-long case, the jury had only deliberated a total of about four-hours when talks unraveled. After their lunch break on Thursday, the team of prosecutors and all defense counsel spent the rest of the day in the judge’s chambers, in private conversations.
Then, they met privately early Friday morning in camera, before the judge’s decision to remove a juror was announced in open court.
The judge replaced that problem juror with an alternate, and then re-read portions of his instructions on points of law to the reconstituted jury, about returning to its effort to “reach a justice decision.” He added, “no need to rush.”
KYW’s Steve Tawa contributed to this story…