The judge's instructions state:
You have been allowed to take notes during the trial. You may take
those notes with you to the jury room. You should not consider these
notes binding or conclusive, whether they are your notes or those of
another juror. The notes should be used as an aid to your memory and
not as a substitute for it. It is your recollection of the evidence
that should control. You should disregard anything contrary to your
recollection that may appear from your own notes or those of another
juror. You should not give greater weight to a particular piece of
evidence solely because it is referred to in a note taken by a juror.
There is a pattern instruction in Washington that addresses requests to rehear testimony:
In making this decision, I want to emphasize that I am making no
comment on the value or weight to be given to any particular testimony
in this case. The testimony you requested will be [read to you]
[replayed for you] here in the courtroom. You will hear it only one
time. After you have heard the testimony, you will return to the jury
room and resume your deliberations. When you do, remember that your
deliberations must take into account all the evidence in the case, not
just the testimony that you have asked to rehear.
The notes on use state "Although judges have discretion in responding to these requests, the case law disfavors repeating trial testimony for deliberating jurors", followed by the state of the relevant case law. The central point in that discussion is:
The concern addressed in the case law is that rereading requested
selections from a trial transcript can lead jurors to give undue
emphasis to the selected testimony.
an additional concern is that reading the trial transcript selections
to the jurors could constitute an unconstitutional comment on the
jurors often request the testimony of a single witness rather than
requesting balanced testimony from multiple witnesses that more
accurately reflects the positions taken by both parties. If the judge
grants such a limited request, then one party's version of the case
might be unduly emphasized, yet if the judge expands on the request by
repeating the requested testimony along with other relevant testimony,
then the judge runs the risk of improperly commenting on the evidence.
Minnesota criminal procedure rule 26 Subd. 20(2) addresses the matter of rehearing evidence, saying that the court can allow a hearing of specific evidence:
(a) If the jury requests review of specific evidence during
deliberations, the court may permit review of that evidence after
notice to the parties and an opportunity to be heard.
(b) Any jury review of depositions, or audio or video material, must
occur in open court. The court must instruct the jury to suspend
deliberations during the review.
(c) The prosecutor, defense counsel, and the defendant must be present
for the proceedings described in paragraphs (a) and (b), but the
defendant may personally waive the right to be present.
(d) The court need not submit evidence beyond what the jury requested
but may submit additional evidence on the same issue to avoid giving
undue prominence to the requested evidence.
This rule where judges have discretion is a change from an earlier rule where judges had an obligation to allow rehearing. When there is no obligation to allow rehearing, the "safer" path is to not allow rehearing.
In State v. McDaniels, 332 N.W.2d 172, the appeals court notes that
The judge reasoned that to read the requested portions of the two
police officers' testimony would give undue prominence to that portion
of the evidence. The prosecutor argued that three or four other
witnesses had testified regarding Fifth and Royalston. The testimony
was widely scattered throughout the transcript between direct and
cross-examination. To locate all references would be burdensome and
thus reflecting the reasoning underlying the Washington instruction.
In State v. Rean, 421 N.W.2d 303, 306 (Minn. 1988), the court turned down a request to rehear testimony, saying "You will have to rely on your memory of the testimony". The Supreme Court concludes that "To avoid giving undue prominence to the testimony requested, and in light of the difficulty of providing all relevant testimony, the jury's request was rejected". It then observes that "Simply because the jury apparently felt that it was at an impasse did not mean that the trial court was obligated to grant the jury's requests". The court rejected "the wooden approach of always granting a request, even an unreasonable one, if the jury says it is at an impasse"
We do not know what objections the prosecution and defense raised regarding the request to rehear, but if one side would likely benefit from a rehearing, the other side is entitled to a "balancing" rehearing (the rules allow the jury to be directed to consider testimony that they did not request a rehearing of); and tit might have been onerous to assemble that evidence.