Julius Henson, a political consultant to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s 2010 campaign, was acquitted Friday on three of the four charges he faced for his part in the “counterintuitive” robocall that went out on Election Day ostensibly to keep likely Martin O’Malley supporters from going to the polls. He was found guilty only of failing to include an “authority line” that would have linked the call to the Ehrlich campaign. Two counts of conspiracy to violate Maryland’s election laws and one count of election fraud failed to stick.
Jury foreman Renee Johnson explained the split verdict: “We, as a people, because we live in a democratic society, we have the choice of believing or not to believe. You choose to believe it, it’s on you.” Granted, I wasn’t present at the trial, but “choosing to believe?!” Is that even a real thing? Does our membership in a democratic society really immunize us against liars? Someone gives you false information, you believe it, and “it’s on you?!” Doesn’t that claim reject the very possibility of fraud, like, at all?
Okay, maybe I should just “relax.”