Twizzlers: Makes Jurors Happy?

By Hasani Gittens
|  Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009  |  Updated 7:15 PM EDT
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Twizzlers: Makes Jurors Happy?

The Hershey Company

The jurors only got strawberry flavor

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While some judges look down upon jurors even chewing gum in their courtrooms, the judge in John A. (Junior) Gotti's trial is going in the opposite direction, with a twist.

Federal Judge Kevin Castel provided a big bucket of red Twizzlers Tuesday to jurors at the racketeering trial of the reputed Gambino crime family mobster, according to various reports.

Why Twizzlers?

That's exactly what the Judge said, then answered his own question, offering a mouthful of reasons to offer the sweet treat to the reportedly sourpuss jury.

"If you have a Twizzler in your mouth, you can't really have a serious conversation," said Castel, according to the NY Post.

Also, Castel said that the red-licorice ropes "are kinda sweet ... pleasing tasting. They put you in a good mood," the Daily News reported.

He also noted that there were "two ways to go" when devouring the cord candies.

One way is to "suck it like a lollipop," he said, or  "you can rip it. You can chew it. If you're frustrated you've got something to take your frustration out on."

The gift elicited chuckles from the jurors, but they took the jug of 105 twists back to the the jury room.

Trouble was brewing amongst the panel last week when one juror wrote an anonymous letter complaining about a "hostile environment" created by Juror No. 7's vulgarity and alleged love for Gotti's defense attorney Charles Carnesi.

On Wednesday, Judge Castel booted Jurors No. 7 and 11 from the jury on the heels of an argument earlier this week. Incensed by what she perceived to be an affront to her brother's trial, Victoria Gotti leapt up and shouted, "They're railroading you. They're trying to do what they did to your father," the mob queen said, referring to her late-husband, Gambino mobster John "Dapper Don" Gotti, according to The New  York Post.

Gotti's mother unleashed a profanity-laced tirade after a judge dismissed two jurors at her son's New York racketeering trial.
    
She accused the government on Wednesday of trying to do to her son what it did to her husband, John Gotti Sr. The elder Gotti was convicted of racketeering in 1991 and died in prison in 2002.
    
As she screamed out obscenities, calling those prosecuting her son "the gangsters,'' Gotti tried to calm his mother down, telling her he would be OK.

A fight nearly broke out between the jurors Monday after the one accused of creating a "hostile environment" allegedly called another juror a "hater."

Closing arguments are expected next week in the 2-month-old trial.

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