Thursday, November 16, 2017
The judge in the corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey declared a mistrial on Thursday after jurors said they were unable to reach a verdict, bringing an inconclusive end to the first federal bribery trial of a sitting United States senator in decades. "We cannot reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges," the jurors said in a note to Judge William H. Walls. "We have each tried to look at this case from different viewpoints but still feel strongly in our positions, nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions," the note said. After interviewing the jurors individually in his chambers, Judge Walls emerged to tell the court that the jurors were hopelessly deadlocked and that as a result "there is no alternative but to declare a mistrial."
The prolonged trial has hurt Menendez's political standings and dimmed his prospects for the future. Poll after poll has found his approval numbers plummeting, and a Quinnipiac poll released in September showed that 50 percent of likely New Jersey voters said that Menendez did not deserve to be re-elected next year.
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