Andersen Jury Continues to Deliberate
Four days of deliberations have yet to produce a verdict in the U.S. Department of Justice v. Arthur Andersen LLP obstruction of justice trial that ended in Houston last week. The jury continued deliberations through the weekend, with no verdict as of Sunday night.
On Friday, jurors were granted permission to rehear the testimony of former Andersen partner, David Duncan, who testified for the prosecution. Portions of Mr. Duncan's testimony were read to the jury after attorneys from both sides reached agreement about what was to be read. Mr. Duncan had testified that he ordered the shredding of Enron-related documents last October, not realizing at the time that his actions might be unlawful.
The jury also reheard testimony of FBI Agent Raju Bhatia who testified that Andersen partner Michael Odom deleted a large quantity of Enron-related e-mail messages last October.
The jurors also requested a copy of a dictionary. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon denied the request, instructing jurors that they could request the definition of a specific word but could not have a dictionary.
Jurors were given a break from deliberations Sunday morning so that they could attend church, but they returned to their duty at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
One of the alternate jurors, Gloria Antia, was interviewed last week and said that had she been on the jury she would vote to acquit Andersen because she didn't think the prosecution proved that Andersen intentionally attempted to thwart the Securities and Exchange Commission. The jury has been instructed that in order to convict Andersen of obstruction of justice they must reach a unanimous verdict without any reasonable doubt.
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.