Sequestered Sowell jurors must pay for own drinks

11:44 AM, Jul 22, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Judge Dick Ambrose has outlined what jurors can and cannot do while they deliberate the fate of Anthony Sowell. Among the conditions, restrictions on how many alcoholic beverages jurors can consume.

"Any juror so desiring may have alcoholic beverages during dinner each night," the Judge wrote in his court order, "provided that the total amount of such beverages consumed by any juror each night shall not exceed two cocktails, or two glasses of wine, or two bottles of beer."

Ambrose ordered that jurors must pay for any alcholic beverages themselves.

The 7 woman, 5 man jury, along with three alternates, are being housed in an undisclosed hotel for the duration of their deliberation process. They must decide 83 criminal charges and hundreds of specifications against Sowell, the accused Imperial Avenue serial killer.

Deliberations are scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day in a Jury Room on the 18th floor of the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland. At times other than that, jurors and alternates will be under the control and supervision of court personnel.

While deciding Sowell's verdict, the jurors are not allowed to take phone calls, watch TV, or listen to the radio. Phone calls to family members must be monitored. Their hotel rooms will be searched each day.

Court personnel have been authorized to remove any newspapers from jurors' rooms, along with any magazines or other written material that might contain information or coverage of the Sowell trial.

TV sets, radios, and even the phones have been removed from their hotel rooms. Any tapes or DVDs a juror wants to watched has to be screened and approved by the court.

The jury began its work approximately 4 p.m. on Wednesday and were still in the process of deliberations late Thursday afternoon. Judge Ambrose ordered that deliberations will continue through the weekend if a verdict is not reached before then.


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