Last week, Roger Stone was sentenced to over three years behind bars after being found guilty on all seven counts he was accused of. Amongst his crimes were tampering with witnesses and lying to congress. Judge Amy Berman Jackson is now allowing a hearing to commence, upon recommendation of Stone’s lawyers, to evaluate whether there was juror bias or not during Stone’s original sentencing. The hearing is open to the general public but due to the case being so popular and globally watched, additional measures are to be taken to help protect the privacy and identity of the jurors.
To protect the identity of the jurors, journalists and individuals watching from the public are only allowed to listen in on the proceedings from another room. Not only will they not allowed to be physically present, but courtroom sketch artists will also not be allowed to be in the room either. There have already been many attempts to identify the jurors and every precaution is being taken to try and ensure that these attempts are not successful.
The reason why their identity needs to be protected is that they face a very high risk of intimidation and harassment Anyone upset about the conclusion of Roger Stone’s sentencing can easily take their frustration out on them and this would be a violation of their basic civil rights. It hasn’t been easy to keep their identities a secret, but every attempt is being made to ensure they are not recognized and harassed by others.
Why is this new trial taking place for Roger Stone?
Stone’s attorneys are taking one last shot at trying to have his sentence cleared or, at the very least, reduced further. They requested the judge for a new trial because they uncovered new evidence indicating there was juror misconduct during stone’s lengthy sentencing. The exact claim the lawyers are making is that the juror tampered with evidence that could show she is guilty of having a clear bias against Stone.
The identity of the jurors is sealed, but many individuals are pointing fingers and trying to identify the juror being accused in this new trial. Ms. Hart, a Program officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is most probably the juror being confronted in this trial. After her identity was exposed, Ms. Hart’s social media has been bombarded by Trump and Stone’s supporters claiming that she had an open bias against the president and Stone himself.No confirmation has been given that Ms. Hart is, indeed, the juror in question and the Justice Department does not seem like they will be clarifying anything anytime soon.
Donald Trump still doesn’t seem satisfied with the constant chances Stone is being given. He stated he would let everything proceed naturally but he would intervene if he felt like Stone was not being treated ‘fairly’. In response to Trump’s many allegations against the Justice Department, Judge Jackson made it clear that there was absolutely nothing phony or underhanded about Stone being tried for matters he was clearly guilty of.