One juror in the Walter Scott murder trial “can’t in good conscience vote to convict”. Knowing the Jury is made up of 11 whites and one black person raises questions in itself.
Sounds like they got a Klansman or a Trumpazoid (but I repeat myself) on the jury.
Seems to me there is one other option the judge can pursue, which is to impeach the juror in question. In the fact that the juror perjured him/her self when asked the standard question of all jurors – “Are you willing to vote to convict if the preponderance of the evidence indicates guilt?”
That one juror will probably make the case go to mistrial, allowing the murderer to pleas down to basically a traffic ticket.
Mistrial Appears Likely in Murder Trial of South Carolina Cop Who Killed a Fleeing, Unarmed Suspect
Lone juror cannot “in good conscience” vote to convict officer Michael Slager.
It appears likely that Judge Clifton Newman will be compelled to declare a mistrial in the racially charged South Carolina murder trial of former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, who fatally shot an unarmed man who had fled from a April 2015 traffic stop. Late Friday afternoon, a lone juror sent a letter to the judge saying that he or she could not, in good conscience, vote to convict Slager of murder or manslaughter. The judge sent word asking the jurors to clarify whether that meant they were hopelessly deadlocked. The jurors responded that they were, but the prosecutor requested that the jurors receive further instruction, if need be, and the jurors expressed a willingness to deliberate further. In the meantime, the judge has sent jurors home for the weekend.
A viral bystander video showed Slager, who is white, shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott, who is black, multiple times from behind. Posted online soon after the incident, the video thrust the Charleston area into the national debate on race and the use of deadly force by police.
What the video didn’t show is the preceding tussle during which, Slager testified, Scott had defied his orders and tried to grab the Taser he was deploying. After Scott broke free and ran away, Slager took aim and fired. Slager said he was in a state of “total fear” and believed Scott remained a threat to him, even though he was running away.
Earlier on Friday, the jurors told Newman they were deadlocked in their attempt to reach a verdict, and the judge—who had given them the option of a lesser verdict of manslaughter—sent them back to try again. Over two days of deliberations, the jury twice asked the judge for assistance. They asked for transcripts of Slager’s courtroom testimony and that of the officer who interviewed Slager after the shooting. They also asked Newman to clarify the legal distinction between “fear” and “passion.” The judge responded that they would have to make that determination themselves.
Many observers have taken note of the racial imbalance of the jury: six white men, five white women, and one black man. No matter which way it goes, the verdict has to be unanimous. A jury foreman’s note that accompanied the letter from the holdout juror noted there was only one juror who “had issues” with convicting the officer.
A hung jury would probably be good news for Slager and his defense team. The prosecutor, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, would have to decide whether to pursue a new trial and on what charge. She announced in court that she would first want to interview jurors to gather insights before making further decisions on resolving the case. It’s also possible Slager could head off a second trial by pleading to a lesser charge in exchange for a short prison stint—a manslaughter sentence in South Carolina ranges from two to thirty years without parole. But involuntary manslaughter, for instance, carries a maximum sentence of five years.