Verdict slip in meningitis outbreak trial creates confusion

Legal experts say it's too late for prosecutors to challenge the verdict.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2012, file photo, New England Compounding Center President, co-owner, and Director of Pharmacy Barry Cadden takes the fifth amendment option and declines to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Energy subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing about the Fungal Meningitis Outbreak. Cadden was among 14 people from the Framingham, Mass., pharmaceutical company arrested at their homes Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Tainted steroids manufactured by the pharmacy were blamed for a fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people across the country. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

BOSTON (AP) – The verdict in the Massachusetts trial of a compounding pharmacy executive charged in a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak seemed clear in court but is now being questioned by some legal experts.

The verdict read by the court clerk in March said the federal jury found Barry Cadden guilty of conspiracy, fraud and other charges but acquitted him of the most serious allegations he faced under federal racketeering law: second-degree murder.Now, some legal experts are questioning whether the vote was unanimous, as required.

On the written verdict form, the jury wrote numbers next to both “guilty” and “not guilty” on the second-degree murder counts. That has led some to suspect the jury was divided. Legal experts say it’s too late for prosecutors to challenge the verdict.