Not Guilty

“Members of the jury, have you agreed upon your verdicts?” The court clerk asked her rote question with a wavering, tell-me-don’t-tell-me tone that seemed to capture perfectly the nervous, nerve-wracked mood among the more than three dozen men and women sitting in the Halifax Law Court’s Courtroom 3-1 on the blustery afternoon of December 18, 1998. Everyone in the sterile, high-ceiling, red-bricked courtroom — Gerald Regan, his wife Carole, their six grown children, their spouses, RCMP Sgt. Jerry Pretty, defence lawyer Eddie Greenspan, Crown prosecutor Adrian Reid, their respective legal associates and support staff, the rows of suddenly no-longer-bored-been-there-done-that reporters, the clutch of curious between-hearings lawyers and the gaggle of faithful courtroom regulars, Greenspan groupies and Regan haters, many of whom had sat through every hour of every day of this six-week trial — craned to look at the six women and four men in the jury box, trying to read the tea leaves of their faces for some sign of the outcome, waiting with a kind of desperate unease for the pregnant pause between the clerk’s question and the jury forewoman’s answer to finally end.

The moment only seemed to last forever.

“We have,” the jury forewoman said…

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