RICHMOND -- Jurors in the corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were on their second day of deliberations Tuesday and some legal analysts say it could take a while longer before they reach a decision.
The twelve jurors have to comb through and process five weeks of evidence—dozens of jurors and hundreds of exhibits—in order to reach a decision on the 13 counts that Bob and Maureen McDonnell each face.
One rule of thumb calls for the jury to take one day of deliberation for reach week of the trial. Other anecdotal evidence suggests it could take several weeks to reach a decision. Jurors in the John Edwards trial in spent nine days deliberating in his 2012 campaign finance trial only to deadlock on five of the six charges.
Legal analyst Kevin Duffan said he expects the jury to likely take through Friday to reach a verdict.
“Juries always have their minds made up, at least individually, when they go into the room and the deliberation process is about seeing if some of those minds can be changed after they’ve talked to the other people,” Duffan said.
Duffan said the jury is likely to take a long time to return a verdict given the weight of their decision.
“They understand the stakes that are at play here,” Duffan said. “They understand that their decisions are going to reverberate throughout not only the Commonwealth of Virginia but the entire country, no matter what they do.”
But even if the jury does reach a decision, the McDonnells’ legal saga could stretch on if one or both of them are convicted.
“If either of the McDonnells are convicted—of even one charge—there will be an appeal pending and then the matter will go on to the Court of Appeals,” Duffan explained.
Throughout the trial, attorneys for both Bob and Maureen McDonnell have raised various issues and re-urged countless motions to preserve the record in the event of an appeal.