Oakland car bomb case jurors ask
judge for verdict forms that allow choosing “undecided” for some counts
OAKLAND – A jury completed the third week of deliberations without reaching a verdict Friday in the federal case of two Earth First! activists who accuse Oakland police and FBI agents of planting a bomb in their car.
The jury did request of presiding Judge Claudia Wilken new revised jury verdict forms which would include an additional line for jurors to choose “undecided” for some counts.
On Tuesday, the jurors apparently had concerns over their instructions and posed at least three hypothetical scenarios to the judge.
The judge told lawyers for both sides that she did not have to answer the hypotheticals the jury posed and stressed that their job was to “try to reach verdicts and not try to predict what the outcome of those verdicts will be.”
Wilken, nonetheless, said she would revise the verdict form and would provide it to the jury if they requested it. On Friday, they did.
Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari were injured when a bomb exploded in their car while they were driving in Oakland in May 1990. Bari, who was at the wheel, suffered a crushed pelvis and Cherney received cuts from the blast.
The two were arrested within hours, but no one was ever charged.
Cherney and Bari sued investigators, alleging false arrest, illegal search, slanderous statements and conspiracy. Bari died in 1997.