Tuesday, the first day of deliberation in the Bridgegate trial, passed without the 12-member jury reaching a verdict. In fact, the jury seemed to have some confusion as to the task at hand, breaking off deliberations several times during the day to send handwritten questions to judge regarding the finer points of motive and conspiracy. One of those questions concerned whether the jury had to prove motive, a key consideration given that the prosecution has maintained from the start that the motive behind the traffic tie-ups was to punish Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich. The judge’s answer — that proving motive was not essential to bringing in a guilty verdict — may have further complicated a trial that is already almost dauntingly complex.
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