America continues to prove that it doesn’t give a fuck about black people’s lives.
Jurors in the trial of former South Carolina patrolman Michael Slager informed the judge just after 3:30 p.m. that they were deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial.
The judge had given jurors additional instructions earlier in the day, including reminding them that a guilty verdict must be beyond a reasonable doubt.
Slager is charged in the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was shot five times in the back last year while running from Slager during a traffic stop in North Charleston..
The jury resumed deliberations Monday morning as the defense continued to request a mistrial.
The jurors asked Circuit Judge Clifton Newman for clarity on the meanings and definitions of several phrases, including imminent danger, malice aforethought, provocation and self-defense.
The judge merged concerns from the defense and prosecution about the jury’s request into a single written response that he prepared for the jury.
The judge returned with the response at about 12:30 p.m. Monday,and shared it with attorneys before calling the jury back to the courtroom.
The prosecution and defense reviewed the judge’s response. The defense asked the judge to add that there is no malice if one has a just cause to act.
The judge reminded the jury to accept the law as defined by him. The written response explained that manslaughter was included as an option because it is a lesser but included crime in a murder case. The judge defined manslaughter as an unlawful killing without the malice of murder.
The judge’s response to jurors included telling them that they cannot convict Slager of murder or manslaughter unless the charge has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The response also said that if the defendant believed he was in danger because of some provocation by the victim, it could have induced the heat of passion.
Newman said self-defense would be the case if a person of normal prudence and courage felt in danger.
The judge’s response said a conviction for murder requires determining if a person acted with malice aforethought.
Newman said the new instructions were to be taken in conjunction with previous instructions and they should be treated as a whole.
The defense asked that the judge re-instruct the jury regarding the potential manslaughter charge, saying that the nomenclature of it being a “lesser offense” might influence the jury when it is a crime considered in the same category as murder with similar penalties. They asked that it be referred to as “another charge” or an “alternate charge,” not a lesser offense.
The defense also asked that the judge charge the jury that both provocation and heat of passion must exist or manslaughter should be taken off the table, and that the judge instruct the jury that that malice must have existed at the time the shots were fired for a charge of murder.
The prosecution argued that all of the charges as given to the jury were appropriate.
The judge said the defense’s requests to modify the instructions to the jury were not timely and additional information given to the jury would lead to confusion. He said his responsibility was to answer the jury’s questions, not to change the original charge to the jury.
Within minutes, the word came that the jury was deadlocked.
The jury deliberated more than 20 hours over four days before ultimately deciding that they could not reach a unanimous decision.
A lone juror prior to the declaration said he can’t convict Slager out of “good counscience.” NBC News reports:
A lone juror said Friday he can’t convict a former police officer who fatally shot a black man in South Carolina, and the jury said they want to continue deliberating.
The juror in a letter to the court said “I cannot in good conscience consider a guilty verdict” against Michael Slager, a white former patrolman who pulled over Walter Scott in North Charleston, and ended up shooting him as a bystander recorded the incident on video.
The jury foreperson said in a separate note to the court that it was only one juror who was “having issues,” Circuit Judge Clifton Newman said. The juror opposed to conviction said in the letter, “I cannot and will not change my mind,” Newman said…
So, killing an unarmed black man was not as bad as convicting a cop who killed him? I see.
…Slager, 35, has been charged with murder in the death of Scott, 50, who was not armed. Scott was shot five times in the back while running from Slager during the traffic stop.
And yet, people are upset or naive about the Black Lives Matter movement and why it’s needed. They will look at this and other trials and still feign ignorance and disdain.
So, go ahead continue to proclaim how racism doesn’t exist among cops and the justice system if it soothes your feelings while cursing those who fight for the lives of black people all while denying how not racist your racist ass is.
Yeah, your words are more powerful than your actions.