RICHMOND, Va. -- Those closely involved with the six-week corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen are reacting to the news that the Supreme Court vacated the McDonnell's convictions and sent the case back down the judicial ladder.
The original trial took place at the Federal Court Building in downtown Richmond during the fall of 2014. During those six weeks, juror Kathleen Carmody spent many nights trying to avoid talking about her day with her family. Carmody said she feels the convictions were vacated on a technicality.
"Based on what I saw and what I was instructed, [McDonnell] was absolutely guilty, as was Maureen," Carmody said. "It was more the money for me, the sweetheart deals. That's what really got me."
The jury was very clear on the instructions of the law as they were given, according to Carmody, but the U.S. Supreme Court said trial judge James Spencer did not properly define what is an "official action" by an elected official under the federal bribery statutes.
Since SCOTUS vacated and remained the convictions, it sets the stage for a retrial; although legal experts said the chances of that happening are slim under the new definition of "official act" by the Justices. Still, a new trial could be costly to taxpayers.
The original trial cost taxpayers more than $1 million when legal fees and personnel costs are factored in. WTVR CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the McDonnell case was sent, and federal prosecutors mulling over many factors.
"Inconvenience to witnesses, expense and time required, and what is in the public interest," Stone said.
Former juror Carmody said she hopes officials take into account everything in determining whether to move forward with a new trial.
"They have to be darn sure if they do it again," said Carmody.