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.
52 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 211 of 52
2. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 2 of 52
3. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 3 of 52
4. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 4 of 52
5. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 5 of 52
6. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 6 of 52
7. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 7 of 52
8. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 8 of 52
9. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 9 of 52
10. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 10 of 52
11. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 11 of 52
12. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 12 of 52
13. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 13 of 52
14. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 14 of 52
15. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 15 of 52
16. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 16 of 52
17. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 17 of 52
18. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 18 of 52
19. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 19 of 52
20. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 20 of 52
21. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 21 of 52
22. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 22 of 52
23. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 23 of 52
24. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 24 of 52
25. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 25 of 52
26. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 26 of 52
27. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 27 of 52
28. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 28 of 52
29. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 29 of 52
30. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 30 of 52
31. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 31 of 52
32. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 32 of 52
33. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 33 of 52
34. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 34 of 52
35. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 35 of 52
36. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 36 of 52
37. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 37 of 52
38. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 38 of 52
39. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 39 of 52
40. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 40 of 52
41. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 41 of 52
42. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 42 of 52
43. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 43 of 52
44. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 44 of 52
45. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 45 of 52
46. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 46 of 52
47. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 47 of 52
48. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 48 of 52
49. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 49 of 52
50. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 50 of 52
51. Patrick Harmon, 5051 of 52
52. Jonathan Hart, 2152 of 52
Jury Deadlocked In Michael Slager Trial, Ordered To Continue Deliberating was originally published on newsone.com