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Waiting Game Continues in Ex-Rep. William Jefferson Trial; Deliberations Resume Today

A verdict is not likely to come until at least Wednesday, and it could take longer. It’s a complicated case and at least a few counts are likely to trigger some spirited conversation during deliberations, which resume Tuesday.

UPDATE: 7 p.m. Wednesday: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the jury failed to reach a verdict Tuesday and will resume deliberations Wednesday.

Opening statements in Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News
Opening statements in Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

By Jonathan Tilove, and Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — Jurors in the federal corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson completed a third day of deliberations Monday without reaching a verdict, extending a nervous time for everyone involved.

“Nothing is worse than waiting for a jury,” said Harry Rosenberg, a former chief federal prosecutor in New Orleans, now in private practice. “There’s nothing you can do.”

“It’s a really bad time,” said Anna Edwards, daughter of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who sat through three such ordeals with her father — one of which ended in a verdict of innocent, another with a mistrial and the third with the conviction that sent him to prison.

“You are totally and completely out of control,” she said. “Someone else has your life in their hands and they’re trying to figure out what they’re going to do with it, and they are not even people you know. They’re not people who are your friends or enemies. They are just people”

Jefferson, the former nine-term Democratic congressman from New Orleans, is facing 16 counts, including soliciting bribes, depriving his constituents of his “honest service,” money laundering, obstruction of justice and turning his congressional office into a racketeering enterprise.

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