Just when Judge Tracie Hunter’s republican adversaries were ready to celebrate her political assassination that took over 4 years to conspire and millions in wasted tax payer dollars, Attorney Clyde Bennett II rolls out the law that can grant Tracie Hunter a mistrial or a new trial on the 1 count she was found guilty of, count 6, having an unlawful interest in a public contract.
On October 10th the jury concluded on a verdict for count 6, and it had remained sealed until all the remaining counts were decided. On October 14th, the jury concluded that they were hung on the remaining 8 counts, and it was revealed that the 1 count that was previously sealed was a guilty verdict. In an interview Wednesday, October 22, 2014 on the Lincoln Ware Show, 1230 the Buzz, attorney Bennett explained that on October 14th he made a request to Judge Norbert Nadel to conduct a poll of the jury regarding the verdict, and like many of his requests made throughout the trial, it was denied. However, according to the law, as explained by attorney Bennett a verdict is not final if the jury is not polled to state openly in the public before the court their own verdict on the case. A verdict must be signed off, in writing, polled if requested, and published. Judge Nadel fumbled by denying the legal request to poll the jury.
The first verdict on the 6th count that was presented October 10th was signed off by all the jurors unanimously. However, two of the jurors have recently come forward signing affidavits that the verdict given on October 14th, 2014 was not their true and accurate verdict and had they been polled openly before the court they would have provided their true verdict regarding count 6. By law, the jurors are within their right to change their verdict openly before the court. It is not uncommon for jury polls to be requested but it is uncommon for the request to be denied. The denial only further demonstrates the efforts by one political party to stack the cards against Judge Hunter.
The Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 31, Verdict, describes the verdict process. Section (A) Return: The verdict shall be unanimous. It shall be in writing, signed by all jurors concurring therein, and returned by the jury to the judge in open court. Section (D) states, Poll of jury: When a verdict is returned and before it is accepted the jury shall be polled at the request of any party or upon the court’s own motion. If upon the poll there is not unanimous concurrence, the jury may be directed to retire for further deliberation or maybe discharged.
As the defense and Judge Hunter suspected it would be very difficult to receive a fair trial in a county where the media has done more coverage on Judge Tracie Hunter than any other Judge in any courthouse in Hamilton County. Also, with politics bearing a dirty hand in this scheme it should have been considered that most people like the two jurors who found Judge Hunter guilty “had already made their minds up.” Politics and race played a major role in this case. Clearly, with the divide coming down to race where all 9 white jurors found Judge Hunter guilty and in most of the counts, all 3 black jurors found her not guilty, clearly illustrates possible alliances made politically and racially. Read any comment thread from any local media source regarding Judge Hunter and see post after post of racially charged comments coupled with attacks on Judge Hunter’s appearance and mental state. Anyone who has met Judge Hunter knows she is extremely intelligent, spiritual, and is a beautiful person inside and out.
The real question is, will Judge Norbet Nadel accept the defense’s motion and follow the law or will he continue the strategic political ploy and ignore the law in order to maintain his party’s agenda to permanently remove Judge Tracie Hunter from office?