What to know about the length of jury deliberations in the Rittenhouse trial

KENOSHA, Wisconsin – Only 12 people know for sure why the jury’s deliberations in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial went on for nearly three days...

KENOSHA, Wisconsin – Only 12 people know for sure why the jury’s deliberations in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial went on for nearly three days without a verdict.

But one thing is clear: the length of deliberations is not necessarily a good or a bad sign for either side, and there have been high-profile precedents for acquittals and convictions after long periods of time. deliberations.

The only things the jurors made clear about their approach was that at least some of them wanted to review parts of the copious video footage shown at trial and needed more copies of the 36 pages of instructions to the jury.

Juries can take days to acquit or convict. Minneapolis jurors deliberated for about 10 hours over two days in April before condemn Derek Chauvin, a former police officer, charges including second degree murder for killing George Floyd.

Florida jury weighed charges against George Zimmerman for more than 16 hours before acquitting him in 2013 of charges including second degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin.

It took about 35 hours over nine days California jurors acquit actor Robert Blake in 2005 for the murder of his wife. “You can’t read anything about it in terms of the length of proceedings, other than it’s so intensely stressful for the parties,” said Ion Meyn, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

Mr Meyn noted that Mr Rittenhouse’s defense had sought to limit the number of times jurors could review the videos while prosecutors argued for unlimited viewing. This makes sense, Mr Meyn said, as his lawyers are more likely to want jurors to focus on Mr Rittenhouse’s testimony.

The best case for defense lawyers is “if the jury believes what comes out of their client’s mouth,” Meyn said. As the hours passed in Mr Rittenhouse’s case, long periods without a word from the jury were punctuated by parties being recalled to court for jury notes, arguments on motions and other matters.

The time taken and the jury’s demand for video evidence suggests the panel is using an evidence-based approach that is more likely to lead to careful deliberation and less likely to deadlock, said Cornell Law professor Valerie Hans. School who has studied the jury system a lot.

Juries will sometimes take a “verdict-based” approach in which people voice their opinions early in deliberations, she said. “If you say ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ right away, you’ve kind of committed yourself publicly” to a position that is less likely to change, Ms. Hans said.

This approach is more likely to lead to a suspended jury, she added.

Mr Rittenhouse, his family members and his lawyers holed up in a one-story room of the courtroom where Bruce Schroeder, a Kenosha County Circuit Court judge, worked on other cases for that he waits.

Not knowing what the jurors think has dire consequences, said John A. Birdsall, a Milwaukee-based lawyer who is not involved in Mr Rittenhouse’s trial but has endured jury deliberations that have lasted until to a week.

He said he spent those times trying to work on his other business. “It’s very nerve-racking. You try to analyze every question that arises to assess where they are, ”he said. “But, of course, it’s all guesswork. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: What to know about the length of jury deliberations in the Rittenhouse trial
What to know about the length of jury deliberations in the Rittenhouse trial
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