Can anyone figure out what pertinent information is missing from this completely unbiased New York Times article?
Verdict Elusive in Baltimore Mayor’s Trial
WASHINGTON — Six days into their deliberations, jurors in the trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon of Baltimore sent a note to the judge on Monday saying they had reached an impasse.
“We cannot come to a unanimous decision on all counts,” the jurors wrote to Judge Dennis M. Sweeney.
In response, the judge asked the jurors if they had reached a decision on any of the counts. Without answering that question, the jurors said they would continue deliberations on Tuesday because of “new things brought to light.”
Ms. Dixon is accused of stealing $1,500 in gift cards meant for needy families. The cards were left over from a charity event and had been donated by a developer, Ronald H. Lipscomb, whom Ms. Dixon dated in 2003 and 2004.
Ms. Dixon was accused of using the cards to buy items at Target, Toys “R” Us, Old Navy and Best Buy — including, according to court documents, a PlayStation video game console, a digital camcorder, DVDs and CDs. During the trial, in Baltimore City Circuit Court, two charges were thrown out for lack of evidence.
Ms. Dixon’s lawyers have argued that she believed some of the cards were personal gifts from an anonymous admirer.
Monday’s note from the jury was the most recent indication of contentious deliberations. In the first days of deliberations, jurors requested early release because discussions were getting “out of order” and “heated,” according to juror notes.
In response to the note Monday, Ms. Dixon’s lawyer, Arnold Weiner, asked for a mistrial, but Judge Sweeney denied it.
Ms. Dixon took office in January 2007 and has generally been viewed as an effective city leader.*
Throughout the trial, which began Nov. 9, public reaction has tended toward two extremes. Some residents have voiced a sense of outrage that the mayor would steal from children and the needy. Others have accused the prosecutor’s office of wasting time and money on minor offenses.
Ms. Dixon faces another trial in the spring on two perjury counts. Those charges stem from an accusation that she failed to report on city ethics forms gifts from Mr. Lipscomb, including money, travel and clothes. Mr. Lipscomb’s company received millions of dollars’ worth of city tax credits for its development projects in 2003 and 2004, the years he dated the mayor.
Hint: Believe it or not, she endorsed Barack Obama.
*(Footnote: Apparently, Ms. Dixon’s credentials for being an “effective city leader” do not include successfully controlling crime, specifically homicides.)
Baltimore is, statistically, the second-deadliest city in the USA; only in Detroit are you more likely to be murdered. Last year there were 234 homicides in the city, which has a population of 650,000. It was a 20-year-low, but still meant that one in every 2,700 people was murdered.