Former New York State Assemblyman and speaker Sheldon Silver is on trial for corruption, which is surprising, as long as you are very, very very easily surprised. Also a little odd: one of the jurors asked to be excused almost as soon as deliberations began, writing, “I don’t feel like I can be myself right now!”
Silver is accused of receiving some $4 million in illegal payments, in exchange for which he allegedly gave a cancer clinic state funds and grants. He’s being charged with “honest services fraud,” extortion, and money laundering. The trial has been going on for three weeks, but an unnamed juror suffered an apparent meltdown today, two hours after the jury finally started deliberating. Per the Times, he or she wrote a weird note to Judge Valerie E. Caproni:
“I am wondering if there is anyway I can be excused from this case, because I have a different opinion/view so far in this case and it is making me feel very, very uncomfortable.”
“I’m feeling pressured, stressed out … told that I’m not using my common sense, my heart is pounding and my head feels weird,” the juror wrote. “I am so stressed out right now that I can’t even write normally. I don’t feel like I can be myself right now! I need to leave!”
Oh wait: the New York Post reports that the juror is female. This is good info, as it helps me shape the pronouns of what I’m about to do here. Because I have questions.
1. What did she think deliberations were?
2. I mean—that’s not how you—no.
3. How’d this happen?
4. Better yet, how’d this happen in under two hours?
5. Does this shit happen? I’ve never seen that happen. Now I’m upset that in all the trials I’ve had to sit through, shit like this never happens.
6. I mean, you should never lie to get off a jury, that’s against the law, but if so, aren’t there better ways of doing it? Like, before you get seated? Way before?
7. Like citing some personal conflict?
8. Or saying you can’t process facts because of the constellation of alien probes in your brain?
9. Who would even risk the wrath of a federal judge like that?
10. Oh my god, this trial sounds like it was so hideously boring, can you even imagine how pissed you’d be if a fellow juror pooped the bathtub like this right at the finish line?
11. I mean what do you even...do with that?
12. To quote Judge Kara Brown: Girl, what?
The judge has reportedly said girl, no, c’mon:
Silver arrives at the courthouse in New York, November 24, 2015. Photo via AP Images