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Theranos Trial Drops Juror For Playing Sudoku Leaving Only 2 Alternates SDNY Podcast Echo

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 22 –  The Elizabeth Holmes / Theranos trial has much to recommend it. Mad Dog Mattis spinning, and many podcasts covering it weekly. And now, a juror admitting playing Sudoku during the endless examination - and dismissed, leaving only two alternates.

 It is reminiscent of trials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, such as the current US v. Neil Cole trial, where jurors struggle to stay away as email after spread sheet are posted on their screens. In NDCA,  Judge Edward Davila dismissed Juror 5, after asking: "I need to know whether or not you were focused on the trial at hand, distracted, missed some testimony."

Juror 5: “I definitely haven’t missed any testimony at all. It doesn’t interfere with me listening. I’m very fidgety, so I need to do something with my hands.”

"Have you been able to follow and retain everything that is going on in the courtroom?” Judge Davila asked. 

"Oh, yeah, definitely,” Juror 5 replied.

But Kevin Downey, an attorney for Holmes, asked the court to dismiss her: "I think it’s difficult for her to evaluate whether she has missed testimony or evidence. Juror 5 is the third to be dismissed since the trial began, leaving only two alternates...

 On September 30 journalist John Carreyrou of the WSJ filed a motion trying to get off Holmes' witness list, or for an exemption so he can nevertheless enter the courtroom. Alongside those legal issues, there's this from the motion returnable October 18: 

"The Supreme Court has long recognized that the press and public enjoy a First Amendment  “right of access to criminal trials.” Globe Newspaper Co., 457 U.S. at 604-05 (emphasis removed).  Steeped in Anglo-American jurisprudence is the principle that “throughout its evolution, the trial  has been open to all who cared to observe,” as criminal trials are “presumptively open.” Richmond  Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 564, 575 (1980). Indeed, a trial courtroom is “a public  place where the people generally – and representatives of the media – have a right to be present.”  Id. at 578. 8 Carreyrou does not suggest that the Court has entirely shut down or closed the trial in this  action. Far from it; the Court has made efforts to ensure general access. But, unless he is  exempted, Carreyrou will be the only member of the news media especially barred from attending  the trial and reporting firsthand on its proceedings."   

For Inner City Press, the only media banned from the United Nations and for 1302 days now, it also stands in contrast to the recent R.Kelly trial in EDNY in Brooklyn, where ALL media and public were banned from the courtroom, with (as Judge Davila has for some reason done in US v. Holmes) no listen-only call in line.  

  Now coverage of the Holmes trial, for example by The Dropout, details Juror 4 pulling out for religious conviction by Alternate 2 staying on, as well as analogies to the Ozy Media flame out, and Facebook whistleblower.

  The trial coverage can also be compared, at SDNY, with the lower profile fraud trial of Neil Cole of Iconix for inflating earnings and selling $28 million of stock (Inner City Press song here), and now Lev Parnas (song here, and sidearm threat podcast, and Substack on racist video-gate).

Carreyrou came back, on Theranos' use of Siemens machines. We'll have more on these issues.


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