SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – In the fraud and conspiracy trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, the judge is considering whether to release private and personal information from pre-trial juror questionnaires.
Legal analysts said the information is typically kept confidential and warn its release could push the high-stakes case to the brink of a mistrial.
"Had these jurors been told at the outset that these questionnaires would be disclosed to the media during the trial, I think you could have chilled this jury and it could have created a big problem," said attorney Steve Clark.
At the outset of Holmes' trial, there were 17 jurors – 12 regular jurors and five alternates. However, two jurors have already been excused, leaving a razor-thin margin in a trial with weeks of testimony left to go.
"If you lose more jurors to the point where you get below 12, you will have a mistrial. And clearly tinkering with the jury at this point, I think, creates a lot of potential problems," Clark said.
Judge Edward Davila returned the questionnaires to jurors so they could examine their answers to questions about their life and experiences. He also spoke with them privately in his chambers.
Davila said he would check the court calendar and schedule a hearing for oral arguments with all attorneys involved in the case. The judge did not set a court date but said it would likely be in about five weeks.
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