Jurors are dropping like flies from the trial of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, or trying to anyway. One juror attempted to beg off last week, citing the total misery of being a juror: “I am so stressed out right now that I can’t even write normally.” A second juror this morning said he had just discovered a potential conflict of interest, explaining that the owner of his taxi medallion is a friend of Silver’s. Judge Valerie Caproni assured the juror that he would be safe from any retribution from Silver, prompting the juror’s renewed commitment to his civic duty. “I would really prefer not to hear anymore but if you order that, that’s what I got to do,” he added.
Prosecutors say Silver received millions of dollars in kickbacks in exchange for favors. Silver’s lawyers are basically arguing that that’s how business is done in Albany.
Update: Silver was found guilty on all counts of honest-services fraud, extortion, and money-laundering. Way to hang in there, jurors! The system works!