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Juror Pressured to Convict Pakistani

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    Claims She Was Pressured to Convict By DON THOMPSON Friday April 28, 2006 http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-5786502,00.html SACRAMENTO, Calif.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2006
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      Claims She Was Pressured to Convict
      Friday April 28, 2006

      SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A juror said in a sworn statement that she
      was pressured into casting the final vote to convict a man of
      attending a Pakistani terrorist training camp.

      The juror's affidavit means Hamid Hayat, of Lodi, should get a new
      trial, attorney Wazhma Mojaddidi argued in a motion filed in federal
      court late Thursday.

      ``I was under so much stress and pressure (from the other jurors) that
      I agreed to change my vote,'' Arcelia Lopez of Sacramento said in her
      statement. ``I never once throughout the deliberation process and the
      reading of the verdict believed Hamid Hayat to be guilty.''

      Meanwhile, prosecutors are expected to tell U.S. District Judge
      Garland E. Burrell Jr. on Friday if they will retry Hayat's father,
      48-year-old Umer Hayat, after jurors deadlocked on whether he was
      guilty of lying to FBI agents about his son's alleged terrorist training.

      Prosecutors in Hamid Hayat's case have said repeatedly since Tuesday's
      verdict that they don't believe there was any improper influence on
      jurors, and that any pressure on Lopez was part of the normal jury
      deliberation process.

      Though emotional, Lopez confirmed her guilty vote in open court
      Tuesday when all 12 jurors were questioned by presiding U.S. District
      Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
      ``I deeply regret my decision,'' Lopez said in the affidavit obtained
      by defense investigator and former FBI agent James Wedick.

      Lopez said in her affidavit that by last Friday she was the lone
      holdout in the case. She went to a medical clinic Saturday with a
      migraine headache and believed ``my health and physical well-being
      were being affected by the pressure from the other jurors to change my

      On Monday she learned the jury's foreman, Joseph Cote of Folsom, had
      sent Burrell a note saying Lopez was causing an impasse in
      deliberations. That note was made public Wednesday. Cote did not
      return a telephone message seeking comment left at his home.

      Prosecutors say Hayat, 23, should face a minimum 30 years in prison at
      his July 14 sentencing based on his convictions on charges he provided
      material support by attending the terror camp in 2003 and lying about
      it to FBI agents when he was questioned after he returned to the
      United States in May.

      Hayat told agents in an hours-long videotaped statement that he was
      awaiting orders to carry out a religious war against targets such as
      banks, groceries and hospitals. Mojaddidi disputes the confession and
      says there is no direct proof Hayat attended the camp.

      Both Hamid and Umer Hayat were detained along with two Muslim
      religious leaders in what authorities suggested was part of a
      terrorist movement in Lodi, located in a grape-growing region 35 miles
      south of the state capital. The two imams and one man's son were
      deported for immigration violations, however, and the Hayats were the
      only people criminally charged in the probe.



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