Cirignano trial: not guily

posted by Mike on October 22nd, 2007

A jury of 6 men and women found Larry Cirignano not guilty of misdemeanor assault and battery in Worcester today.

There were no strong emotions on anyone’s face as the verdict was announced. Cirignano was mostly impassive, with the occasional mild smile. Loy and her supporters frowned a bit, but then everyone was frowning as the jury’s deliberation dragged on for its second day, and a hung jury looked increasingly likely.

Sarah Loy had no comment. Bay Windows has a statement from Cirignano’s lawyer. I’m hoping either they or the T&G can get some comments from jurors.

When the jurors first appeared in court this morning, the foreman had shaved. The judge sent them out to deliberate.

After an hour, they were back with a question, or rather more of a statement. It began, “Your honor, we cannot come to a consensus,” and ended, “We are at an impasse.”

There was a brief recess while the lawyers conferred.

Defense: We don’t have an agreement.

Brought up subject of “Rodriguez charges.” (Someone who knows the law can maybe find a good link.) The judge will give the jurors more instructions. Defense wants part of the instructions switched, since the Commonwealth bears the burden of proof, but the judge says no.

Judge: If the jury is deadlocked, I’m ready to empanel another jury today.

Prosecution is unsure of witness availability.

Break.

Judge & jury are back. Judge re-reads the jurors’ statement. Reads them additional instructions on examining issues with respect to others’ opinions, etc. They shouldn’t expect an additional trial would have a better jury or clearer evidence. The defendant is to be given the benefit of the doubt. Asked to deliberate further.

Recess.

Everybody I’ve talked to is pained by the thought of another trial, and just wants this to be over, one way or the other.

At 12:30, we’re back in the courtroom, and the jury says not guilty.

I’ll be very curious to hear what the jurors have to say about the deliberations. Based on their questions to the judge, I’d guess that most of them agreed there was unwanted touching involved here, but were unwilling to use a strong term like “assault” to describe it. (However mild the touching can be by the letter of the law.)

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