Mistrial in Burrell Ellis Case

What a county where you can be secretly recorded allegedly threatening to “dry up” a company that didn’t donate to your campaign in exchange for county work and not be found guilty.

I just don’t even anymore…

The jury that failed to reach a verdict in the corruption trial of suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was close on a few of the counts but they were truly split on most of the 13 still-unresolved charges, according to the woman who was elected foreperson after four days of the deliberations…

Citing a gag order that remains in place, District Attorney Robert James office declined to say if he would seek a retrial or drop the case. That information will come out in a court filing, most likely over the next few days.

A mistrial was declared late Tuesday afternoon because the jury plagued with personality conflicts could not reach verdicts on any of the 13 charges.

This was the biggest corruption trial in Georgia since Bill Campbell was tried in 2006.

Page Pate said Dekalb DA Robert James “will consider the time, the expense, whether it really is a benefit to the community” when deciding to re-try the case.

I’m not a lawyer but it seems as if this case is a slam dunk if there’s a non-dysfunctional jury. But more importantly, this is definitely worth the time and money. Citizens need to have absolute faith in their governments and rooting out corruption–or having our elected officials prove they are honest public servants–is a fundamental element to establishing that trust. I hope James decides to re-try the case, for the citizens of Dekalb’s and Mr. Ellis’ benefit.

8 comments

  1. benevolus says:

    Is it normal to have to have a unanimous jury in a case like this? I thought many trials were just majority?

    • gcp says:

      If James can’t get a conviction on retrial or if he chooses not to retry then case should be moved to federal court. Its very difficult to convict an elected official in the county where he was overwhelmingly elected. Remember Victor Hill in Clayton County a couple years ago.

  2. gcp says:

    Several extortion counts were 11 to one for conviction. Ellis had the most prominent (and probably most expensive) defense team ever in the metro area and he could not get an acquittal? This case needs to retried.

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