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Tags: prosecutor | doug burns | donald trump | trial | jury | notes | deliberations

Ex-Prosecutor Doug Burns to Newsmax: Intent of Jury Notes Hard to Decipher

By    |   Thursday, 30 May 2024 09:30 AM EDT

Caution should be used in trying to read the intent of jury notes during deliberations, former federal prosecutor Doug Burns told Newsmax on Thursday.

Burns appeared on "Wake Up America" the morning jury deliberations in former President Donald Trump's New York criminal trial entered their second day.

Jurors have asked Justice Juan Merchan to repeat the detailed instructions he had given them to guide their deliberations, and they asked for transcript portions of testimonies from witnesses Michael Cohen and David Pecker.

"It is incredibly nerve-wracking and stressful for everybody waiting on a jury," Burns told co-hosts Rob Finnerty and Sharla McBride. "I also wanted to say that interpreting jury notes is sort of an art, not a science.

"And many, many times I've seen situations myself, other lawyers, and you think a note means one thing, and then when you chat with the jurors in the hallway after a verdict turned out the note meant something completely different. Now you just can't read too much into it."

Burns took issue with something Merchan and the prosecution did before the jury began deliberating.

"What bothers me, though, seriously, is that this judge and the prosecutors left this jury with the impression that non-disclosure agreements and catch and kill of a story is illegal and it's not," Burns said. "And that's really pretty disgraceful.

"He [Merchan] let them [the prosecution] argue on and on and on about, sort of a criminal hush money conspiracy. He should have instructed this jury that non-disclosure agreements are not illegal. He should have allowed the defense to argue that. He didn't. So, it's really a very, very unfair situation."

Finnerty pointed out that Merchan took about 90 minutes Tuesday to read through his instructions, about 110 pages in length.

"In federal court, they universally send in a copy," Burns said. "In New York, they don't. However, if a jury asks for them, the judge has the legal authority and discretion to send them."

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Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

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Caution should be used in trying to read the intent of jury notes during deliberations, former federal prosecutor Doug Burns told Newsmax on Thursday.
prosecutor, doug burns, donald trump, trial, jury, notes, deliberations, judge, juan merchan
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2024-30-30
Thursday, 30 May 2024 09:30 AM
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