UPDATE: December 2, 5:32 PM EST
The jury in the Michael Slager trial confirmed they would continue to deliberate after a short recess, WCSC reports.
Judge Newman told the court it would be “improper” for him to rule a mistrial since the jury has decided to move forward with deliberations.
UPDATE: December 2, 4:52 PM EST
According to WCSC, one juror sent a note to Judge Newman saying he could not “in good conscience,” agree with the other jurors on a guilty verdict.
Newman explained that under state law, he cannot instruct the jurors to make a decision a second time–but can only give further explanation of the law if the jury decides that is what they prefer.
The jury foreperson said an explanation of the law would help the jurors make a final decision. Around 5 pm EST, Judge Newman called a short recess.
This story is developing.
Jury Deadlocked In Michael Slager Trial, Ordered To Continue Deliberating
The federal judge presiding over the Michael Slager trial ordered the jury to keep working after jurors said they could not come to a consensus on Friday, CNN reports.
The White ex-cop is on trial for the shooting death of Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man, in North Charleston, South Carolina. Slager shot Scott during an April 2015 traffic stop when the 50-year-old fled, fearful of prior warrants out for his arrest.
“You have a duty to make every reasonable effort to reach a unanimous verdict,” Judge Clifton Newman said to the jurors. According to CNN, 11 Whites and one African-American make up the jury.
On Thursday evening, the jury left with an explicit question. Jurors wanted Judge Newman to define the distinction between “passion” and “fear.”
Via The Post and Courier:
The 12 jurors’ question, written in a note, had come late Thursday. While it showed that some jurors have focused on an issue related to manslaughter, the lesser of the two charges that they could choose for a conviction, the judge cautioned about reading into the question any further.
Murder carries a higher standard that requires prosecutors to prove some sort of malice, or ill will, in Slager’s mind when he pulled the trigger. Manslaughter is a killing in the “heat of passion,” or uncontrollable emotion, after the killer is somehow provoked. But fear is also a common expression of a self-defense claim; Slager said he was in “total fear” after Scott took his Taser during a fight and turned it on him.
A murder conviction would bring a sentence between 30 years and life in prison while manslaughter carries two to 30 years.
On Friday, Judge Newman told the jurors they would need to come up with their own definition and refused to answer, citing that it would interfere with the jury instructions. Two notes were sent on Friday in the span of 12 minutes; the first asked for a testimonial transcript, while the second note inferred jurors could not come to a consensus.
It’s unclear how the jury is split, and what charge jurors are leaning towards.
They (the jurors) have three options for the outcome of Slager’s trial: a guilty verdict on murder or voluntary manslaughter, or an acquittal. If it cannot unanimously agree on either, the jury would be hung, and a mistrial would be declared, The Post and Courier writes.
62 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Eric Logan, 541 of 62
2. Jamarion Robinson, 262 of 62
3. Gregory Hill Jr., 303 of 62
4. JaQuavion Slaton, 204 of 62
5. Ryan Twyman, 245 of 62
6. Brandon Webber, 206 of 62
7. Jimmy Atchison, 217 of 62
8. Willie McCoy, 208 of 62
9. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 219 of 62
10. D’ettrick Griffin, 1810 of 62
11. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 11 of 62
12. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 12 of 62
13. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 13 of 62
14. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 14 of 62
15. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 15 of 62
16. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 16 of 62
17. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 17 of 62
18. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 18 of 62
19. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 19 of 62
20. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 20 of 62
21. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 21 of 62
22. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 22 of 62
23. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 23 of 62
24. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 24 of 62
25. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 25 of 62
26. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 26 of 62
27. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 27 of 62
28. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 28 of 62
29. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 29 of 62
30. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 30 of 62
31. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 31 of 62
32. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 32 of 62
33. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 33 of 62
34. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 34 of 62
35. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 35 of 62
36. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 36 of 62
37. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 37 of 62
38. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 38 of 62
39. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 39 of 62
40. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 40 of 62
41. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 41 of 62
42. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 42 of 62
43. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 43 of 62
44. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 44 of 62
45. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 45 of 62
46. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 46 of 62
47. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 47 of 62
48. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 48 of 62
49. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 49 of 62
50. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 50 of 62
51. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 51 of 62
52. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 52 of 62
53. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 53 of 62
54. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 54 of 62
55. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 55 of 62
56. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 56 of 62
57. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 57 of 62
58. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 58 of 62
59. Patrick Harmon, 5059 of 62
60. Jonathan Hart, 2160 of 62
61. Maurice Granton, 2461 of 62
Jury Deadlocked In Michael Slager Trial, Ordered To Continue Deliberating was originally published on newsone.com