CA: ATTORNEYS DOWNPLAY COMMENTS BY JUROR
Federal prosecutors said Saturday there is little or no evidence to support allegations of juror misconduct in a motion for a new trial of a Lodi man convicted of terrorist activity.
Misconduct claims on behalf of Hamid Hayat are barred by rules of evidence, cannot be substantiated, actually describe proper conduct, or describe conduct not harmful to Hayat, prosecutors maintain in a 187-page brief opposing a new trial.
In their October motion, defense attorneys cite a statement by juror Alicia Lopez that jury foreman Joseph Cote made a "hangman gesture" and once said "hang him" in discussions with other jurors during the trial.
"These bare bone allegations, on their face, are vague and ambiguous and do not constitute substantial evidence that (Cote) was actually biased against the defendant," wrote prosecutors S. Robert Tice-Raskin and Laura Ferris in the opposition brief.
Defense attorneys also cited statements by jurors Lopez and Theresa Berkeley-Simmons that Cote used racial slurs during the trial, including his opinion that Pakistanis or Muslims all "look alike" if dressed the same.
Hayat is a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent.