We finally got a verdict after eight hours of deliberation. Waiting on a jury to decide your client’s life is like waiting for a doctor’s diagnosis for cancer. I think I smoked a pack of cigarettes and I don’t even smoke. We waited on Thursday until 6:30 pm. They gave a note at 5:00 that they had decided count 2, which was a criminal sexual conduct charge that would have put Joe on the sex offender registry for 25 years, and were hung on the other counts. I was a little relieved with this note because I figured no human being is going to convict a sixteen year old of this charge in 30 minutes and if they had found him guilty they would know that the rest of the charges wouldn’t matter. I went home and slept for 12 hours, I was dead tired.
I got to court at nine the next morning and continued the wait. At 2:30 the jury sent out another note, this one said they were deadlocked on count one and deadlocked on counts 3 and 4 for the lesser charges of assault and battery. The judge declared a mistrial. The prosecutor and I spoke with the jury afterward. They all felt that something happened but that Joe was way over charged and they were offended that he had been charged as an adult. Some of the jurors thought I was too hard on Jack with my questioning. Tom saved their crappy case with his bought and paid for lies. I don’t blame him though, the prosecutor had a gun to his head. The jury said if it wasn’t for Tom they would have acquitted Joe of everything. That if Tom was there as a defendant and not as a “cooperating” witness both boys would have gone home with clean records. Instead Tom has 3 felonies: felonious assault, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, and unlawful imprisonment. He can thank his lawyer Sarah Blaylock from the Law Offices of Ray Cassar for that sweet deal. Tom’s dad was there for the whole trial, I could see in his eyes how much he had regretted his son’s decision to plead guilty when they know he is innocent. It’s one thing to be innocent and another to have the courage to stand up for yourself, and another to have a trial lawyer standing by your side! Tom only had innocence going for him.
I hung out with the three of the jurors afterward. It was really interesting to hear about the battles in deliberations and their insights for the next trial.
About half of the jurors gave me their emails, they want to know what happens on September 20, that’s when the retrial is set for.
The prosecution may rest but we never will…. At least until Joe gets to go home for good!