Top of the Morning: Jury Deliberations for Paul Manafort

Another day of jury deliberations in the Paul Manafort trial.  I can hardly sleep for worrying about the outcome.

I keep thinking about the O.J. Simpson case, another case in which the evidence was overwhelming and the guilty walked free.  I think about the case of the young woman in Florida who clearly killed her child and the jury let her walk free.

And, the jury in the Paul Manafort case requested that a birthday cake be brought in to the courthouse for one of the jurors last week.  Not a good sign.  Are adults really this silly?

They’re deliberating the case of a man who, if convicted, may spend the rest of his life in prison and someone has to have a birthday cake in the middle of it?  They are deliberating in a case where the judge has had death threats.  But, somebody has to have a birthday cake.  They are deliberating case that may well dramatically affect the trajectory and the reception of anything the Mueller probe comes up with.  This is a case that will, whatever the outcome, affect the shape of democracy in this country.  But, somebody has to have a birthday cake?  And, no other juror or court official told them to fuck themselves.  I don’t get it.  Why would a juror’s birthday even come up?  Why would a juror’s birthday even be discussed, let alone discussed to the extent of arranging for the purchase and delivery of a cake.  Are we this trivial and self-obsessed.  Well, yes.

And, another thing about the Manafort case that is keeping me up at night is that (talk about trivial and self-obsessed) judge.  Why is he being allowed to intervene in the trial on the behalf of the defense over and over again?

If the prosecution loses because of the influence of the judge on the jury, they don’t get a second chance.  If it were the other way around, if the judge was making prejudicial statements against the defense, they could appeal.  The prosecution is just out of luck.  We are out of luck.

And, again, not to be outdone in the area of triviality and self-obsession, cable news people are doing interview after interview with people who have trial and legal experience who act like this behavior on the part of the judge is just a display of mildly amusing cantankerous antics, not unusual in a trial.  Well, if it’s not unusual, it should be.  No judge should be allowed to behave like this.  It’s unprofessional to say the least.

Sometimes I think the media and the legal professionals have such an investment in maintaining the party line that the legal system is unbiased and based solely on facts, they won’t admit what’s in front of their faces.  This is not behavior characteristic of an unbiased and professional court system.  If the guy can’t control his ego, he shouldn’t be on the bench.  We have got to stop allowing people with power to behave in any way they chose.

O.K.  Finally, about the Manafort Case: I would really like to know why the Russian woman (who it appears to me at least slept with every Republican in Washington) has been moved to the same jail as Paul Manafort.  What’s that about?  I would really love to hear any information anyone has about this.

It’s just Monday.



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