US Jury’s Mixed-Theranos Verdict Compliments the possibility of appealing
(Reuters) (Reuters) – Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is likely to appeal her conviction for defrauding investors in the blood-testing business however, four legal experts say the fact that the jury acquitted her or was unable to decide on a number of cases could hurt her.
Holmes was found guilty on Monday of fraud on investors of the once-highly-flying Silicon Valley blood-testing company. But she was cleared for deceiving patients. The guilty verdict on four of 11 charges came after a long trial.
Holmes was found guilty of conspiring with investors to defraud and deceiving three private investors. Holmes was cleared of defrauding investors and patients, as well as other investors’ charges.
Holmes lawyers have yet to say whether she will appeal. The lawyers representing Holmes did not respond to a request to comment on Tuesday.
Legal experts not involved in the trial said that the fact jurors found in Holmes’ favor on some charges will weaken the argument that they were naive or biased.
“In a mixed verdict it’s extremely difficult to conclude that jury rushed to judgement,” Carrie Cohen, an attorney for white collar defense and former New York prosecutor, said. “It appears that they didn’t take evidence from one crime and then use it to say, ‘Well, she lied to one investor. She must have lied about the other three investors.
Experts believe that appeals will focus on the rulings of U.S. district Judge Edward Davila in favor prosecutors during or prior to the trial. Jurors could be able to view an official report from 2015 stating that Theranos’ laboratory conditions posed “immediate danger to patient safety and health.”
Her attorneys had challenged the prosecutors’ use of the report, arguing that it was irrelevant and would unfairly prejudice jurors against Holmes. The judge concluded that the evidence could be used to demonstrate that Holmes was aware of problems at Theranos.
The report was among the evidence introduced during the testimony of 29 witnesses from the government.
However appeals courts are hesitant to alter jury verdicts, and will determine if any incorrect ruling was significant enough to have affected the result According to Christopher Slobogin, a Vanderbilt Law School professor.
Another area of potential appeal would be the instructions that the jury received prior to deliberations, including the meanings of “reasonable doubt.” Holmes requested additional instructions on the legal standard was rejected by the judge. This legal standard is a very high standard for criminal convictions.
In the United States, criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cohen claimed that arguing that the jury was confused about the standard may be an “uphill fight” as it was able to acquit on some counts.
However the jury’s verdict could be helpful in Holmes sentence, according to Amanda Kramer, a Covington & Burling partner.
Holmes The attorneys for Holmes will likely argue that her conviction only on certain charges after a nearly four-month trial shows “she wasn’t some snake oil salesperson trying to rip people off.”
“The defense will argue to the judge that it is important, that she stands apart from the fraudulent fraudsters who are found guilty across the board,” Kramer said.