SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – In the fraud and conspiracy case of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, a judge is considering whether to disclose private and personal information from pretrial jury surveys.
Legal analysts have warned that the information is often kept confidential and its release could put the high-stakes case on the brink of mistrial.
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“If these jurors had been told in the first place that these polls would be released to the media during the trial, I think you could have alienated this jury, and that would have been a big problem,” said attorney Steve Clark.
At the start of Holmes’ trial, there were 17 jurors, including 12 original jurors and five substitutes. However, two jurors have already been excused, leaving a razor-thin margin in a case with weeks of testimony.
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“If you lose more jurors to the point where you drop below 12, there will be a mistrial. And frankly, I think tampering with the jury at this point creates a lot of potential problems,” Clark said.
Judge Edward Davila returned the questionnaires to the jurors so they could examine their answers to questions about their lives and experiences. He also spoke to them privately in their own rooms.
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Davila said he would check the court schedule and schedule a hearing for oral discussions with all lawyers involved in the case. The judge did not set a court date, but said it would likely be in about five weeks.