Rosenthal Mistrial Hearing Postponed

April 1, Ed Rosenthal appeared in front of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer with hopes of winning a mistrial only to have the hearing postponed until next Tuesday.

Juror Marney Craig prompted the hearing when she admitted to defense attorneys that she had sought counsel from an attorney friend as to whether or not she had to follow the Judge Breyer's instructions. Her attorney friend told her, incorrectly, that she did have to follow the judge's instructions and failed to mention her constitutional right of jury nullification (a right afforded all jurors to acquit based on their beliefs that the crimes charged should not be criminal offenses). Craig shared this information with another juror, Pamela Klarkowski, in front of yet another juror. Rosenthal's defense attorneys believe that Craig's actions make a strong case that the some of the jurors received "extra-judicial" information, which offer grounds for a mistrial.

Klarkowski testified that the conversations had occurred and that the results of those conversations made her feel that, "there was only one choice," which was to vote guilty. Craig, in a surprise move, invoked her 5th Amendment right to remain silent unless the government granted her immunity. Judge Breyer is considering holding her in contempt of court for refusing to obey his orders not to discuss the case with outside experts during the trial. The hearing will be resumed next Tuesday.

Upon learning after the trial ended that Rosenthal was deputized by the city of Oakland to grow medical marijuana, several jurors -- including Craig and Klarkowski -- became vocal about their anger and horror that the evidence presented at the trial made Rosenthal appear like a major drug dealer rather than an authorized grower under Proposition 215. Many of the jurors said they would not have convicted Rosenthal had they known the whole truth.

Convicted three months ago of three federal marijuana charges, Rosenthal faces a minimum of five years in prison when sentenced in June.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.