The New York Daily News reports: “Maybe his breath smelled, but the verdict didn’t. That was the ruling served up yesterday by a judge who refused to overturn a guilty verdict after a juror admitted boozing it up during deliberations. The unnamed Manhattan juror downed at least 6 ounces of vodka last spring while weighing the evidence against a retired firefighter who was convicted of stealing artifacts from Ground Zero.
“When defendant Samuel Brandon, 61, got wind of that, his lawyer asked Criminal Court Judge Ellen Coin to toss out the verdict. ‘This court finds it reprehensible that a juror would imbibe alcohol at any time during the trial,’ Coin wrote in a 12-page decision released yesterday. But, she noted, even the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that jurors’ consuming booze – or even drugs – during a trial does not constitute the kind of ‘outside influence’ that is the only basis for overturning a jury verdict. Brandon’s lawyer Ronald Kliegerman called Coin’s decision ‘insane.’