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.
46 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Antwon Rose Jr., 171 of 46
2. Robert Lawrence White, 412 of 46
3. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 3 of 46
4. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 4 of 46
5. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 5 of 46
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7. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 7 of 46
8. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 8 of 46
9. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 9 of 46
10. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 10 of 46
11. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 11 of 46
12. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 12 of 46
13. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 13 of 46
14. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 14 of 46
15. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 15 of 46
16. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 16 of 46
17. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 17 of 46
18. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 18 of 46
19. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 19 of 46
20. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 20 of 46
21. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 21 of 46
22. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 22 of 46
23. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 23 of 46
24. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 24 of 46
25. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 25 of 46
26. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 26 of 46
27. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 27 of 46
28. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 28 of 46
29. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 29 of 46
30. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 30 of 46
31. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 31 of 46
32. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 32 of 46
33. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 33 of 46
34. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 34 of 46
35. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 35 of 46
36. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 36 of 46
37. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 37 of 46
38. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 38 of 46
39. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 39 of 46
40. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 40 of 46
41. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 41 of 46
42. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 42 of 46
43. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 43 of 46
44. Stephon Clark, 2244 of 46
45. Danny Ray Thomas, 3445 of 46
46. DeJuan Guillory, 2746 of 46
Jury Deadlocked In Michael Slager Trial, Ordered To Continue Deliberating was originally published on newsone.com