Weeks before the Libby jury of nine women and three men gets the case and starts deliberations, the group is actively involved and being heard.
Judge Reggie Walton has given jurors notebooks so they can track the evidence and testimony. The notebooks are kept by the court's clerk.
But beyond the note taking to help prompt their memories later, the judge gives the Libby jurors a chance to pose questions in real time at the end of each witness's testimony. We've seen the flash of white note cards pop up in the jury box as they pass them down to the clerk. Sometimes four or five questions appear. Judge Walton reviews the written questions privately with the attorneys in what's called a "sidebar."
The juror questions that can be posed within the rules of the law are then addressed to the witness by the judge. Potentially this would clear up uncertainties and perhaps improve the deliberative process later.
For example, jurors wanted to know if Ari Fleischer had ever asked Libby if the details about Valerie Wilson were classified. Fleischer testified that Libby told him about Valerie Wilson working at the CIA and that it was "hush, hush." Fleischer then explained, turning toward the jury, that the typical White House practice was to say very clearly, "This is classified," before passing information. Fleischer said Libby had not done that so Fleischer assumed it was not classified.
Earlier, when Libby's CIA briefer Craig Schmall appeared, jurors wanted him to explain the symbols he used in his handwritten notes. They also asked how he knew Libby was "annoyed" about press leaks that might have come from the CIA as Schmall had testified. The witness who saw Libby several times a week said he could tell Libby was "annoyed" based on tone of voice and body language.