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Whitewater Jurors Tell Judge They're "Locked"


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, July 30) -- The jury in the Whitewater trial of two bankers told the judge today they were "locked" and unable to reach a verdict. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright sent them back for more deliberations.

"We as a jury have come to the conclusion we are locked, and we are seeking advice of your honor," jurors told Wright in a letter. Wright then summoned the 12-member group to reiterate instructions that they should do all they could to reach a verdict. The jury began deliberations July 25.

Branscum & Hill

Herby Branscum Jr. and Robert M. Hill, longtime political supporters of President Bill Clinton, face 11 counts charging them with defrauding their own bank, the Perry County Bank in Perryville, and violating tax laws to help the 1990 gubernatorial re-election campaign of then-Gov. Clinton.

Defense attorney Dan Guthrie told Wright that "If they say they are hopelessly deadlocked, we should declare a mistrial." Lead prosecutor W. Hickman Ewing Jr. disagreed and also urged Wright against polling jurors on whether they were deadlocked on all or just some of the 11 counts against the defendants.

"I agree they ought to be deliberating," Ewing said.

As in the first Whitewater trial, Clinton is not a defendant in the case. This time, however, his top aide Bruce Lindsey was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

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