Could jury fatigue be a factor as Mangano-Venditto trial stretches on?

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Could tedious testimony in the Mangano-Venditto corruption trial be leading to what's called jury fatigue?

Week 7 just wrapped in what was supposed to be an eight-week trial. It’s been a parade of witnesses.

Harendra Singh spent 13 days on the stand in the federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto. Prosecutors have called more than two dozen additional witnesses over the course of several weeks, and they're not done yet. The defense argues that many of those witnesses haven't had much of an impact.

“I don't think that anybody really in the last few weeks has moved the needle for the government,” says John Carman.

And some jurors have struggled to stay alert over the course of the past seven weeks. So, are prosecutors running the risk of essentially wearing out the jury?

“It’s impossible to read a jury,” says Fred Klein, a Hofstra Law school professor and a former Nassau County prosecutor. He says while it’s possible jury fatigue may be setting in, he believes the prosecution's strategy is a wise one. After all, its key witness, Singh, provided damning and detailed testimony despite appearing to contradict himself at times.

“They put him on first, he explains the whole conspiracy, which is very complicated, and then they use all of these other witnesses to kind of show the jury that Singh was telling the truth,” says Klein. “Plus, the further away they get from Singh's actual presence in the court room, the less impact the cross-examination may have.”

So what if members of the jury do seem to be tiring a bit? Klein says they are still likely listening and paying close attention to the witnesses on the stand. And he says come time to deliberate, they'll likely be very thoughtful about the decision they reach.

“It’s a privilege to be a juror, and it’s also a big responsibility, and I've found that most jurors treat it like that, and even if it takes a long time, even longer than the judge and lawyers told them it would,” says Klein.

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