Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Corrupted corruption?

As the new year beckons to us on the horizon a few ugly bits of 2008 and before are still rearing their ugly little heads. No, I'm not talking about the economy, or anything happening in the Middle East. I'm talking about the trial that will not go away quietly.

As I have mentioned before Dave Anderson (nephew to The Allen, and supposed worker at the Salmmy Estate), has said that he lied while on stand. As to what exactly he lied about and why isn't exactly clear to me, something about lying about having been granted immunity by the FBI in exchange for his testimony, but he didn't really have the immunity? When he was a witness he wasn't all that clear in his testimony with exact dates and exact work done, he seemed kind of stoned while testifying. Well, 'happy drunk' at least. My opinion is that he might've lied about what work HE actually did, but the work was still done, in full knowledge of Salmmy, and not paid for by Salmmy, therefore; Salmmy is still guilty.

Now, however, an FBI whistle-blower comes on to the scene, telling tales of misconduct on behalf of the FBI agents and the prosecution. WB says that there were private meetings, gifts exchanged and evidence omitted.

And now I'm worried. What if the prosecution was only out for blood any way they could get it? What if they did have some evidence that out weighs the guilty evidence? And why am I worried? I still feel I came to the right decision based on the facts presented during the case. I don't feel worried about our verdict. I'm worried that if this case does get re-tried some poor sap (more correctly 12 poor saps) are going to have to sit through another month long trial. (they won't make us do it again will they? You can't have the same jury try the case again - right? Oh God - I hope not!!!).

So if the prosecution was corrupt and withholding evidence that showed that Salmmy was not corrupt I'm all for another trial. But I noticed that the WB only mentioned work done by VECO and such at the Salmmy Estate, nothing about all of the gifts that were not disclosed on the FDRs. So, if all else fails, Salmmy is still guilty of receiving those gifts (not loans!) and not reporting them and therefore is still corrupt. Is that enough you ask? YES!!!!

On a lighter note, this quote caught my attention:
During the Stevens trial, the agent inappropriately met with Allen in a hotel
room more than once, the whistle-blower said. During Allen's testimony, the
agent dressed in a way that was meant to be a "surprise/present for Allen," the
whistle-blower said.

Now I'm wondering who this agent was...were they in the audience? OH! I hope I find out! I remember looking at the audience a lot during his testimony, but all I remember that was different from other days, is his lawyer who may or may not have been making signs to him to steal third. Or whatever the judge saw him do and reprimanded him for.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What We've Missed

The trial judge in the corruption case against Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has
ordered a "brief hearing" Monday concerning a prosecution witness who said he
was untruthful.
After dealing with cantankerous and AWOL jurors, a lawyer who
he thought was signaling a witness, and multiple accusations of prosecutorial
misconduct by the defense,
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan now has a witness
who appears to be recanting at least part of his testimony.
Sullivan, in a
one-sentence order issued Tuesday to attorneys in the case, indicated he was
seeking ideas about how to proceed with the witness, David Anderson.

I have never really followed a case before, but this case seems to have more than its share of problems - note the highlighted portion above. I'm sure Mr. Burns & crew are loving it because it might lead to the conviction being dismissed. (Could it end as a mistrial even though the trial has officially ended? Help me out here lawyers!) I'm equally sure that Judge Sullivan and Rosie and her crew just wish it would end.

By the way this is what I was enjoying last week:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Blog Readers

Its really simple! Just go on vacation without easy access to a computer and then do a craft show* you really weren't prepared to do!

But now I'm back and ready to dazzle you all with my clever insights and horrible spelling.

woo hoo!

Before I seriously get back into blogging about the trial let me just say it was a little sad to hear Salmmy's farewell speech last month, just shy of 40 years of service. Too bad he had to go out this way. I also wonder if there should be a term limit on Senators like there are for President. I wonder if that will help curb corruption.

*seriously, I was working my bahootus off making crafts check out my even more horribly updated craft blog: www.hotdogsngiggles.blogspot.com.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It Will Never Go Away!

The latest news is that Dave Anderson, nephew of The Allen, and welder of the famous steel deck and stairs at the Salmmy Chalet, is saying that he lied during his testimony.
"I testified to the fact that there was never immunity for me or my family and
friends," welder David Anderson said in a November letter to a federal judge
placed in court files by Stevens' lawyers. "That is simply not true."

ugh. But he's not going back on what he said regarding the work he did. He's going back on saying that he didn't have immunity for himself and his friends and family when he said it:
Anderson supervised the start of the 2000 renovation of Stevens' Girdwood,
Alaska, home and later responded to maintenance requests by Stevens and his
wife. He testified at the trial that a March 2008 affidavit he signed that
would give immunity to his family and friends in exchange for his testimony
was false.
"That was never said," Anderson testified on Oct. 9. "It was kind
of a gentleman's agreement, you know." In his letter, Anderson said: "The
agreement was that if I cooperated my entire family would be safe from the
investigation(s) of the Department of Justice and also the Treasury Department.

The Department of Justice has never ever denied that they shook my hand on this
agreement but instructed me on how to sugar coat it and get it swept under
the rug during the trial as they have told the court just the opposite."

The DOJ was quick with a rebuttal:
But the Justice Department said Anderson told two FBI agents in an August 13
meeting that he knew there was no immunity agreement and that the March
affidavit was false.The government agreed not to make him testify against family
members, but "Anderson knew that there had been no agreement relative to
immunity or promises of immunity by the government as
to anyone," the Justice Department said.

So, he may or may not have had immunity when he testified. Does it really matter? Well, hypothetically, if he felt he had immunity if he gave the DOJ what they wanted he might have lied on the witness stand in order to get that immunity. If he didn't have immunity would he have even testified?

Then he comes out with this doozy:

Anderson also said he was given extensive help by the prosecutors in remembering
events surrounding the renovation of Stevens' house."Without the preparation
from the prosecution and reminders from them about my activities and the
agreement I had with them about my family and myself I would not have given the
same testimony," Anderson said. "Without a shadow of a doubt I believe this
trial would have gone much differently."

But he doesn't say HOW his testimony would be different. Of course the DOJ had an answer for that too:

Federal prosecutors say this is also untrue and they will submit documents and
video evidence Monday "that prove the falsity of Mr. Anderson's allegations."

Now, what did he actually testify that could be affected by this and therefore call for a mistrial? He testified about the work he did personally and the time he spent at the chalet doing that work. Well, the time sheets were already thrown out as evidence so the only thing that is left is the work he did personally. This would be most of the metal work done. The Steel steps, the steel railing, the steel deck, the steel balcony, and the steel safety ladder that he attached to the house. And there is hard evidence that this work was done. Photographic evidence even. And there were some emails back and forth about the steel deck and such. So, in my humble opinion, I don't think his testimony really matters. The facts are still there: the work was done (whether by Dave Anderson or by someone else), Salmmy knew that the work was done, the work wasn't paid for, Salmmy knew it wasn't paid for, and Salmmy didn't put it on his forms. Ergo, Salmmy is still guilty.

Sorry, Mr. Burns and Rob Riggle. Salmmy's still guilty in my book.

Here is the whole link of the article from AP's Jesse Holland: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081121/ap_on_go_co/stevens_trial;_ylt=AgZrPiHRvPtOTZ7YO6B7nPas0NUE

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Witness?

I know I've left you and myself high and dry for a week. During my sabbatical, I've thought often about what to write for this entry. Should I tell the story of How Salmmy Got His Name? Should I comment on Salmmy's re-election? Should I just post pictures of mustangs and mooses? Then I got serious and figured I should get back to the trial. But that also offers up questions. Do I go go with witnesses? Do I just stick with the evidence? Do I read the articles and figure out what was really happening during those long breaks we jurors got to take?

Well, lets see what I remember...

So, after listening to the opening statements, we finally get our first witness! If I remember correctly, it is John Hess. He was the engineer who drew up the plans for the addition.

I really wish the lawyers had followed a more logical approach to their witnesses. Give us the big picture with Persons, then back up his testimony with the workers who did the work, and such, then bring in The Allen to tell us who was paid and by whom, with all the evidence to support such claims. Instead it was all all kind of muddled. Skipping from house to generator to house to gifts. It did seem like we were building up to the big picture, but some of the beginning witnesses didn't really prove their need until Persons or The Allen testified, which made it very important to be able to take notes. As it was the case seemed more like a story layout than an argument layout. Which is ok, I guess. Thank God we were allowed to take notes is all I'm saying.

So, anyways. John Hess. So the excitement around John Hess is that he apparently met with Salmmy and The Allen in a private dining room at the Double Muskee Inn (which Persons owned), to discuss what Salmmy wanted done to his little A-Frame. The way Rosie mentioned it in the opening statement, it sounded like something out of the Godfather. I pictured dim lights, pasta, napkins tucked into their collars, security at the doorway, Salmmy and The Allen waiting in the far corner to the right of the fireplace. John Hess a little nervous and tugging at his collar as he walks in. Sad accordion music... (I was sad to find out later that the Double Muskie Inn served Creole, talk about a mood breaker). It seemed weird to me that they didn't meet at the house, but then people do have to eat, and I think it came out later that Salmmy doesn't like to cook. (just like he doesn't like pay'n his bills!--OOO SNAP!!!).

This is how the meeting went:
Salmmy: Mmmm. I'm thinking we need more space for my Grand kids and parties, and for me to tinker. I want to raise my house!
The Allen: Raise the roof!!!
Salmmy: No, the house. Every one's doing it! We just put in a new ground floor. Get me an architect Billy Boy!
The Allen: (I'm not a freak'n home builder Salmmy!) Well, I know this guy Hessie. He's an engineer, he's never designed a house, but he designs things for my company and he works for my company (which will remain unnamed in case anyone is listening...), so he will be a puurrfect fit! I will get Hessie.
Hessie: Hello, hello, hello!
Salmmy: (who else is he saying Hello too?)
The Allen: (sshhh! He's an engineer, they're all a little screwy).
Hessie: Did you guys say something? No? Ok then. Why are we meeting in the back room of this restuarant?
The Allen: (looking sideways at Salmmy) Salmmy can't cook. You have traveled far. Eat while we tell you what to do. You work for me, you must obey.
Salmmy: I want to raise my house and put in bunk-beds!
Hessie: (to The Allen) Did he eat too much Salmon?
The Allen: (you'd think so with the name, wouldn't you? But no.).
Salmmy: I have a lot of grand kids. They can sleep in bunk-beds. I want to tinker.
Hessie: Ok. Here's the design, thanks for din-din. Tootles! (leaves.)
Salmmy: Boy. Engineers sure talk weird.
The Allen: So do jurors.
Salmmy: What?
The Allen: Um, did I say something? Anyways, do you think CAS* will like this addition?
Salmmy: Crappers. She probably wants actual rooms. And a bathroom. Women are soo damned practical. She will be in charge of everything by the way.
The Allen: Does she know that?
Salmmy: She will when she has to pay the bills. (both laugh)
Persons: So, how did the secret meeting go?
The Allen: Dude! You sooo totally just ruined EVERYTHING!
Salmmy: Its ok Billy Boy, we're still BFF's!!! Anyways, Walker's going to be checking on the house while I'm not here. Since I'm here, like, 2 days a year.
Persons: Stop calling me Walkers!! But I forgive you. I'll email you and CAS everyday!
Salmmy: (Crappers! Well, at least he won't call me so I don't actually have to TALK to him) Oh, hey Walkers -er- I mean Persons. Email me. No need to email CAS.
Persons: OK! We're the bestest buds, right?
Salmmy: (very quietly) yes. (psst. Change the subject Allen!)
(Hessie returns)
The Allen: Ooo. The GUMBO was really tasty today!
Hessie: I redesigned the plans, here you go.
Salmmy: Thanks! Send me a bill!

The End.

well, thats not exactly how it happened, but you try it without notes!

*CAS is how Cathy Stevens was referred to in the emails sent to Salmmy from Persons. I never came up with a nickname for Persons, though it was rumored that his nickname was Walkin' Bob because he walked a lot. I called Bill Allen The Allen in reference to The Great Satan, because in the opening statements the defense implied that he was pretty EVIL. I affectionately referred to Cathy Stevens as The Hulk, but only after her testimony (before her testimony I referred to her as Salmmie), because she hated everything that was done to the house and all the gifts that were received (except maybe the stained glass window?) and probably wanted to smash them all. Hulk hate metal deck! Hulk smash metal deck!!! Hulk hate cigarette burned leather couch! Hulk throw out window!!! I really apologize to CAS for referring to her as the Hulk. But she can refer to me as the stoopid idiot juror if she wants. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008


I've been so busy lately I haven't been able to update or anything fun like that so as an apology I offer you some evidence:

Salmmy's House then:

Salmmy's House now:

I must say, the way the prosecution was going on about it, I was expecting a bigger change. And with the bumbling people working on it I'm surprised it got done at all - seriously, the dude but the pump for the water heater in backwards!!! And metal always freezes first - why put it on a house? Why have a metal escape ladder in Alaska? Damn. Some people's children...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In The Beginning...

...there were two lawyers. And those two lawyers talked a god awful amount. (though reading articles now, everyone says it was only an hour each).

In our instructions from the Judge we were told not to hold the opening statements too highly as we should just pay attention to the facts of the case, so why we had to sit through them is still a hotly contested arguement I have with the court system. For the actual facts of the case I will reference articles and actual evidence in this blog. But for the opening statements I'm going to be biased and emotional. Just to warn you.

The prosectution: I am Rosie and Salmmy is guilty of fraud! False Statements! Lying! Receiving Gifts! Furniture! Generator! Free Work done on his house! Statue! Puppy! Stained Glass Window! Mustang! - Wait?! Did she just say Mustang? What was that about a Mustang? Whose Mustang? Are you giving out Free Mustangs? Damn, now I really have to listen to find out more about that mustang! (yes, I love mustangs and am sure at one point I doodled 'Mustang of love' a dozen times in my notebook like a love sick teenager. I really hope they shredded those notebooks). Sadly, after the mustang bit my head was a little cloudy, but I think she said that they would prove their evidence in the next couple of weeks.

The defense: I am a whimisical old man! I don't like microphones or standing in one spot! (I swear his nickname was going to be Orville Redenbocker if he had continued in this vein. I wanted to give him a straw hat, bow tie and a red stripped vest). Luckily he got to the point: Salmmy is innocent! He is old and confused! He hardley even goes to Alaska! His wife handled all the bills! His bestest friend didn't tell him what was happening! Seriously? Oh, and Bill Allen is the Evil. He tricked Salmmy!

My thoughts after the opening statements were done: Please can we start with the facts and witnesses now? Tell me more about this mustang!

**the mustang evidence was thrown out in the end. It was a 64 1/2 Mustang. Seriously. I want that car!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Process

As anyone who has ever been on jury duty knows, most of the time is spent in anticipation. Wondering if your number will be called. Accessing the amount of potential jurors in the room and the number actually needed, working out your odds.

As the day goes on and your number isn't called you stop worrying and it becomes a kind of vacation. A day where you can sit around reading your book, eating vending machine snacks you normally shy away from, maybe joking to the people next to you, trying not to pay attention to the tv showing the oxygen network. (btw - isn't jury duty painful enough without Oxygen blaring on the tv? Its like don't even want to try and make your stay there enjoyable at any level.)

But then the court worker comes and everyone gets the same wide eyed look of dread, whispering "Please? Not my number!" to themselves.

Well, for our trial it was a little different. The court worker stated off the bat that we were all there for just one trial and that we would all be called, it was just a matter of when. And even though we were all hoping that she had made a mistake, we all were eventually taken into an even colder, if brighter, courtroom to hear a little about the case and to fill out a 22 page questionaire. Seriously. 22 pages. Some questions made sense regarding your the case; "Do you personally know the defendant and if so will this have an affect on your judgement?" Some felt like I was filling out a questionairre for a dating website; "What are five books you have read in the last year" (if you are interested: Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman; The Watchmen, Alan Moore; Artemis Fowl, Eoin Coffer; I, Claudius and Claudius the God, Robert Graves. I didn't mention the whole Twilight Series, Stephanie Meyers, because I would not even mention that I read them and somehow enjoyed them against my better judgement under oath. Even though I just mentioned that here. damn. there goes my credibility. They grated against my soul, but I couldn't stop reading them.)

Anyways, long story short, we all filled out the questionaires then had to come back the next day for the interviews. I was one of the ones that got questioned by Mr. Burns. I knew that the defendant didn't have to testify, but I thought that the defense still had to disprove the counts against him. That of course is not the case (pun!), as I was reminded by Mr. Burns and the Judge. I think I was just thinking about the Brady Bunch episode where they proved that guy didn't have whiplash by throwing something so therefore Mr. Brady was innocent. After most everyone was questioned (there was a lucky group that was supposed to come in the next day but never had to), we went home awaiting our fate for the final selection the next day. I was called kinda late in the group of 36 from which the jury was to be picked so I had my hopes up that they were going to fill up the 16 seats before they got to me. At first my odds looked good as they picked one, skipped one for about 6 jurors. Then they skipped 4 people, and then 5 people. And that is when I knew that I was going to be picked. I had my bag in my hand and was standing up before they even called my number.

And that is how I became Juror #11.

Let me tell you something though. It is really scary sitting in the witness box and having everyone staring at you. Your life flashes before your eyes before you answer each question. I almost spilled everything like Chunk from the Goonies. "And then, when I was 7 I threw gravel on the floor of the roller rink..."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Senior Barbie Leaves Trial to Bet on Horses...

oh lord. this trial will never go away. Juror #4, or as I like to call her Senior Barbie for her choice of outfits, decided to lie about her father dieing in order to get out of jury deliberations to go to the Breeders Cup. Seriously. I cannot make this up! http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2008/11/juror-in-stevens-case-my-father-is-not-dead.html Then when she finally appears before the court to answer for her actions she goes batship crazy yapp'n about how her house is bugged, her friends deal drugs, and that she has a pile of lawsuits that she wants to start up.

Is this true? Or is she just acting insane hoping to cover up her gambling addiction or her addiction to horse racing. Can she get in serious trouble for lying to the courts this way? Could this affect the verdict that we came up with?

Did I see this coming? Hell no! Yes, she was slightly off. Quietly reading her Yachting magazines and business journals while most of us played taboo or joked around. Yes, she dressed like a 20 year old barbie doll with bad taste when she was definetly old enough to be my mom, but isn't there always people who dress inapproriately? What Not To Wear would be off the air if there wasn't. But she didn't mumble to herself. She was pretty clean.

Whatever happens next in this little side drama, I hope Salmmy's lawyers don't use this as an excuse to get our verdict thrown out. She had nothing to do with our deliberation. We had to start over when I stepped in to cover for her.

And to Salmmy's lawyers I'd like to say: "Shakira's hips don't lie and neither do the facts. Salmmy was found guilty based on the facts, and beyond reasonable doubt."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The End

Usually stories start at the beginning, but I was under oath not to talk about the Ted Stevens trial that I was Juror 11 (or alternate #1) for, so I will start at the end and work my way through to the beginning.

As you may know Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted on 7 counts of falsfying statements - His Federal Disclosure Reports - through out the years 2000-2006, on Monday, October 27, 2008. The trial itself lasted one month, and the jury deliberated a day and a half (or so) before one juror was dismissed and an alternate was brought in. Me!

Through out the trial and deliberations I had to check my emotions at the door and reserve my comments, but now that it is over let the flood begin!

I must warn you though, I will not use proper names as I only remember Ted's name eventhough the lawyers had to state their name each time they interviewed a witness during the trial, I was too busy trying to get the witness's name or doodling to care what their names were. And, of course, I can not use the proper names of my fellow jury members. And anyways, my nicknames were better.

The Prosecution:
Rosie Perez, the head prosecuter. She was fiesty just like Rosie.
Mustache, Alaskan DA or ADA, for obvious reasons.
Perfume McPhee, at first I called him Kyle McLaughlin because he looked like him and I had a budding crush on him, but then he wore too much cologne one day and bam - Perfume McPhee.
Meryl Streep, she never did anything but was at the table and looked like the actress from her Orchid Theif days.
Intern, self explanitory.

Mr. Burns, the head defense lawyer, and its soo true. I was always waiting for him to say 'release the hounds!'
Rob Riggle, I think his name actually was Rob, but he looked like Rob Riggle to me. I wanted to go out drinking with this guy.
Salmmy (Sen. Stevens), This one is a long story perhaps I shall tell it one day.
Amazon, she started out as Trophy because she was blonde and wore pearls, but then she stood up and became Amazon.
Token, this is props to South Park.
Hottie/Tin Tin, he showed up when the defense started calling witnesses, and there are stories to tell about that one too. Perhaps one day...

Well, thats my first post done.

Next, The Deliberation!