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Thread: Does a longer jury deliberation mean an acquittal?

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    Agent B Butterfly's Avatar
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    Does a longer jury deliberation mean an acquittal?

    So while I should have been working yesterday and was instead checking PosMike and the web every 5 minutes for news of a verdict, I found this article. Lots of media pundits say that if the jury takes a long time to reach a verdict, it's more likely to be "not guilty." Well, this article suggests that it isn't a hard-and-fast rule.

    Famous trials: How long jurors deliberated
    By HLNtv.com Staff, October 31, 2011

    The minute a case is given to a jury, speculation begins. One hot topic is always how long it will take the jury to reach a verdict. And the speculation really heats up in that window between word that a verdict's been reached and when it's read in court.

    In the Conrad Murray case, the media have been notified there will be a two hour window between the time the jury reaches a verdict and the announcement of that verdict.

    Some people would say a short deliberation time means a guilty verdict and a longer deliberation means the jury, or at least one juror, thinks the defendant is not guilty. But take a look at how long it took jurors to decide these cases:

    Casey Anthony was acquitted of first-degree murder in the death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. The jury deliberated ten hours and 40 minutes.

    In 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of two counts of murder in the deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Jurors deliberated for less than four hours.

    Jurors from the second Phil Spector trial deliberated for 30 hours and convicted him of second-degree murder in the death of Lana Clarkson.

    After 35 hours of deliberations, stretched out over nine days, jurors acquitted Robert Blake of first-degree murder in his wife's death.

    Scott Peterson was convicted of first-degree and second-degree murder for killing his wife and their unborn child. The jury deliberated for seven days.

    After four days of deliberations, the Menendez brothers were convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for killing their parents.

    Steven Hayes was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of three members of the Petit family. The jury deliberated four hours.

    http://www.hlntv.com/slideshow/2011/...-deliberations
    Last edited by Butterfly; 11-05-2011 at 10:46 PM.

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    Well Butterfly - I saw an interesting segment on HLN with Ted Rollins (he's one of the few analysts on there that is actually good) and he said that if the jury is just working hard to do their due diligence and to go through and understand the jury instructions and the definitions provided by Judge Pastor, that it is reasonable that they wouldn't have agreed on a verdict by the end of the day Friday. His view was that if we don't see a verdict by the end of the day Monday, it might be an indication that jury members are split, that some definitely think Murray is guilty, other jury members are less certain. I'm SO HOPEFUL that they jury will complete their due diligence before the end of the day Monday and come back with a unanmious guilty verdict!!!!

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    Your Butt Is Mine raze599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyna View Post
    Well Butterfly - I saw an interesting segment on HLN with Ted Rollins (he's one of the few analysts on there that is actually good) and he said that if the jury is just working hard to do their due diligence and to go through and understand the jury instructions and the definitions provided by Judge Pastor, that it is reasonable that they wouldn't have agreed on a verdict by the end of the day Friday. His view was that if we don't see a verdict by the end of the day Monday, it might be an indication that jury members are split, that some definitely think Murray is guilty, other jury members are less certain. I'm SO HOPEFUL that they jury will complete their due diligence before the end of the day Monday and come back with a unanmious guilty verdict!!!!
    Exactly these jurors will be working their socks off to get a fair verdict. You cant blame them, you can't remember 6 weeks worth of information and 400 pieces of evidence. I think mid to end of Tuesday is reasonable.

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    Crotch Grabber Julie's Avatar
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    Thats interesting, a lot of people were convicted after really longer deliberations, i suppose at the end of the day it comes down to the jury and how complex the case is, not what we expect the outcome to be. This makes me feel better that they didnt do it in one day.

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    Posting 'Till The Break Of Dawn applegirl's Avatar
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    Well I see absolutely no correlation between the stigma of that the longer the jury takes to decide the more likely the person is acquitted/found not guilty.

    I believe wholeheartedly that the jurors are looking over the evidence carefully and at their own pace. I admit on friday i did wait endlessly hoping for a verdict (and started freaking out everytime Vinnie on HNL mentioned a buzz was made by the jurors) but at the end of the day I realized this case is not that simple. It's only one count of involuntary manslaughter but they have to find absolute proof of wrongdoing. We bystanders may already know the verdict in our heads because of the intensely close trial following everyday but for the jurors they are relooking everything in the trial before a real decision can be made. It is mind boggling -- all 12 jurors need to be on the same page in order for a verdict to be done.
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    Gold Pants Member nadalette's Avatar
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    And don't forget, a longer deliberation means longer for Murray to sweat it out. ... just sayin'
    And when the groove is dead and gone, you know that love survives

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    Agent B Butterfly's Avatar
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    I think it's going to take some time to determine whether we have criminal negligence/manslaughter vs. medical negligence.

    Honestly, I'm concerned when I look past the attorneys' delivery (Walgren's stellar performance contrasted with the defense's bumbling around) and sort through the direct (not circumstantial) evidence presented. For me, it's enough to convict, but I am biased and I'm not in the jury box. When I try to think skeptically and look for holes, here's what I find (please don't think by this post that I'm advocating for Murray's innocence. I'm just trying to look at it from a skeptic's point of view.)

    * The coroner's report clearly states the pharmacological findings. It renders an opinion about likelihood of self-administration and deems the case a homicide.

    * There's a propofol vial with a single-spike hole, and testimony about a split IV bag, and a brilliant physician's theory about how a continuous infusion was set up. But there's no IV tubing/vent apparatus showing traces of propofol (though yes, the tubing could fit in someone's pocket, but it still wasn't found). I don't remember exactly, but isn't it true that the notorious split IV bag was described in Alvarez's second interview with LAPD (not the first) and that we don't have the actual split bag as an exhibit?

    * There are the phone records and bimbo testimony and testimony from a parade of paramedics, UCLA doctors, and Carolwood witnesses that show Murray lied about a lot of what happened the morning of June 25 in his interview with LAPD and tried to hide evidence of propofol administration. They also show that Murray wasn't paying attention (our interpretation is that he was either out of the room - most likely - or Mike was asleep/unconscious and not begging for drugs as Murray described in the LAPD interview).

    * There were propofol deliveries to chief bimbo's home.


    So the 2 main questions that are going to take the jury's time are:

    1. Self admin vs. infusion drip or other Murray-initiated injection. The evidence objectively shows that MJ died of propofol intoxication. The argument about self-administration vs. Murray administration is an argument of opinions, each citing a combination of physical evidence and circumstantial evidence. The prosecution gave a much more coherent argument, by FAR, but it's still an opinion. The coroner's report, rendering an opinion of homicide, is supported by the prosecution's witnesses, and that's a big plus that the first opinion out there (the coroner's) said homicide at the hands of another.

    2. Whether Murray's negligence (a fact supported by direct evidence) is enough to constitute manslaughter, by either allowing the implausible self-administration to happen or by injecting with woefully insufficient monitoring and precautions. It could come down to what Chernoff was saying in closing argument: is medical negligence, which the defense acknowledges and all doctors agreed on in their testimony, enough to constitute, legally, involuntary manslaughter. What could be relevant here is Murray's behavior in ways that acknowledge guilt (hiding drugs, telling a fairy tale to LAPD, paramedics and UCLA doctors) - he tried to cover up, and that certainly indicates knowledge of wrongdoing, but was the wrongdoing manslaughter or was it just really, really bad medical practice that's worthy of license revocation?

    IDK, bb's. The only thing that keeps me sane is the knowledge that whichever way the verdict goes, Murray is probably never going to practice medicine again. I can't imagine the Texas and California medical boards letting this go, though it may take a looooonnnnng time for them to get around to doing something about revoking his licenses.

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    Posting 'Till The Break Of Dawn applegirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadalette View Post
    And don't forget, a longer deliberation means longer for Murray to sweat it out. ... just sayin'
    That is very true, bb. I'm thinking everyday of continued jury deliberation he is likely contemplating whether that day will be his last day of freedom.
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    Never Gettin' Enough Scarlett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    I think it's going to take some time to determine whether we have criminal negligence/manslaughter vs. medical negligence.

    Honestly, I'm concerned when I look past the attorneys' delivery (Walgren's stellar performance contrasted with the defense's bumbling around) and sort through the direct (not circumstantial) evidence presented. For me, it's enough to convict, but I am biased and I'm not in the jury box. When I try to think skeptically and look for holes, here's what I find (please don't think by this post that I'm advocating for Murray's innocence. I'm just trying to look at it from a skeptic's point of view.)

    * The coroner's report clearly states the pharmacological findings. It renders an opinion about likelihood of self-administration and deems the case a homicide.
    * There's a propofol vial with a single-spike hole, and testimony about a split IV bag, and a brilliant physician's theory about how a continuous infusion was set up. But there's no IV tubing/vent apparatus showing traces of propofol (though yes, the tubing could fit in someone's pocket, but it still wasn't found).
    * There are the phone records and bimbo testimony and testimony from a parade of paramedics, UCLA doctors, and Carolwood witnesses that show Murray lied about a lot of what happened the morning of June 25 in his interview with LAPD and tried to hide evidence of propofol administration. They also show that Murray wasn't paying attention (our interpretation is that he was either out of the room - most likely - or Mike was asleep/unconscious and not begging for drugs as Murray described in the LAPD interview).
    * There were propofol deliveries to chief bimbo's home.


    So the 2 questions where I think the jury is having trouble are:
    1. Self admin vs. infusion drip or other Murray-initiated injection. The evidence objectively shows that MJ died of propofol intoxication. The argument about self-administration vs. Murray administration is an argument of opinions, each citing a combination of physical evidence and circumstantial evidence. The prosecution gave a much more coherent argument, but it's still an opinion. The coroner's report, rendering an opinion of homicide, is supported by the prosecution's witnesses, but they are all opinion.
    2. If self-administration is considered a remotely possible scenario, whether Murray's negligence is enough to constitute manslaughter by allowing self-administration to happen. It could come down to what Chernoff was saying in closing argument: is medical negligence, which the defense acknowleges, enough to constitute, legally, involuntary manslaughter. What could be relevant here is Murray behavior in ways that acknowledge guilt (hiding drugs, telling a fairy tale to LAPD, paramedics and UCLA doctors) - he tried to cover up, and that certainly indicates knowledge of wrongdoing, but was the wrongdoing manslaughter or was it just really, really bad medical practice that's worthy of license revokation?
    Completely agree with your analysis. If I were on the jury, I'd want to go through all evidence relating to the first issue with a fine-tooth comb before I even attempt the question of whether his negligence is enough to constitute manslaughter if self-administration is remotely possible (which is a question that does my head in because absent prior conduct of self-administration, how can anyone justify self-administration as a foreseeable event?). Really hoping that the evidence pointing to consciousness of guilt will tip the balance in favour of a conviction for any juror who has trouble deciding which expert to believe.

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