Depending on whether you prefer the wording in the New York Times or the New York Post, the jury in the Astor trial, which has been deliberating for nine days, is either "showing signs of strain" or "at each other's throats." The group had sent out two notes to the judge yesterday, apparently indicating that one of the jurors felt threatened by the atmosphere in the room, according to the Times. Indeed, during a rereading of testimony in the morning, the paper reported that "Juror No. 8, a 39-year-old legal analyst for the Bloomberg L.P., was pallid, with wet and puffy eyes. Her cheeks and nose were red. A male juror sitting next to her handed her a red handkerchief that she used to wipe her eyes." Judge Kirke Bartley Jr. cautioned that while "emotions may run high," it was important to "let the touchstone of your deliberations be respect and civility." Complimenting them as one of the best juries he's ever seen, Bartley said: "I'm going to ask that you hang in there a bit longer." (If the threatened-feeling juror is ruled unable to serve, the judge will be forced to call a mistrial, throwing all nineteen weeks of this ordeal into the garbage bin.) In any case, there seems to be no end in sight for these beleaguered peers — one juror was overheard asking the judge if she could leave early ... on Friday.
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