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Jury in ex-lawmaker's trial to keep deliberating

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Posted: Feb 23, 2011 5:18 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: new, orleans, federal, judge, jurors, deadlocked, racketeering, lawmaker, renee, gill, pratt, judge, district, court, wbrz, louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge has instructed jurors to continue deliberating in the racketeering case against a former Louisiana lawmaker even though they appear to be deadlocked.

Michael Fawer, an attorney for former state Rep. Renee Gill Pratt, said the jury gave U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle a note on Wednesday that said they were "unable to reach a decision" and asked, "Where do we go from here?"

The judge instructed them to continue deliberating even though it was the second time they indicated trouble reaching a verdict.

The jury has deliberated for roughly 24 hours, including more than seven hours Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Lemelle refused to suspend deliberations at the request of prosecutors, who argued the judge needed to correct a portion of the jury instructions.

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