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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Jury fails to convict Ferry County sheriff in Prohibition case

Two Ferry County rum-runners were convicted of conspiring to violate Prohibition laws, but the jury “found itself hopelessly unable to agree
Two Ferry County rum-runners were convicted of conspiring to violate Prohibition laws, but the jury “found itself hopelessly unable to agree" on a verdict for their co-defendant, Ferry County Sheriff Thomas Barker, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Nov. 17, 1922. The newspaper also reported that jury selection proved difficult in the Maurice Codd-related subornation of perjury trial because many potential jurors were rejected. (Spokesman-Review archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Two Ferry County rum-runners were convicted of conspiring to violate Prohibition laws, but the federal jury “found itself hopelessly unable to agree” on a verdict for their co-defendant, Ferry County Sheriff Thomas Barker.

The sheriff was now facing the prospect of a second trial on all four counts of conspiracy. A fourth co-defendant also was looking at the prospect of a second trial, while a fifth co-defendant had been acquitted.

The jury had deliberated all night, and finally reached a verdict on three of the cases by noon the next day. The jurors were said to be “tired, worn and without sleep.”

When the verdicts were announced, the federal courtroom was packed with the defendants’ friend and relatives, newspaper men and Prohibition officers.

Also from the trial beat: In the city’s other sensational trial, jury selection had proved difficult in the Maurice Codd-related subornation of perjury trial. A number of potential jurors were rejected because they had already formed opinions on the case, due to the heavy newspaper coverage.

When the judge finally secured a 12-person panel, one of the jurors immediately asked to be excused, and an alternate was installed in his stead.

Three Spokane attorneys and 12 others were charged with perjury or soliciting perjury in the controversial Maurice Codd murder trial, in which Codd was acquitted.

Codd was a from a wealthy and well-connected Spokane family. One of the key witnesses who’d testified on his behalf, had now turned state’s evidence and admitted she lied.

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