Tensing Jury Having Trouble Reaching Verdict

Nov 11, 2016

Judge Shanahan advises deadlocked jurors to keep trying to reach agreement on a verdict.
Credit pool

Update, 5:48 p.m.

Shortly after 5, jurors asked more questions, including what were the definitions of under arrest and resisting arrest.

Judge Shanahan told jurors they had "all the instructions you need to reach a verdict in this case. It would be improper for the court to elaborate further," and sent them back to deliberations.

Original story: 

On the third day of deliberations, jurors in the Ray Tensing trial have said they couldn't come to a unanimous verdict. Tensing is charged with murder and manslaughter for the death of Sam DuBose during a traffic stop in July, 2015.

 About four hours after starting their work on Friday, jurors delivered a note to the judge asking for advice. Judge Megan Shanahan told jurors she was aware it was a difficult task before them, but encouraged them to keep at it.

 "In a large proportion of cases absolute certainty cannot be attained or expected. Although the verdict must reflect the verdict of each individual juror and not mere acquiescence in the conclusion of other jurors, each question submitted to you should be examined with proper regard and deference to the opinions of others," Shanahan told them.

 She said no new evidence existed, and no other jury could be expected to do better.

 "It is your duty to decide the case if you can conscientiously do so. You should listen to one another's opinions with the disposition to be persuaded. Do not hesitate to reexamine your views and change your position if you are convinced it is erroneous," Shanahan said.

 "Jurors for acquittal should consider whether their doubt is reasonable, considering that is not shared by others, equally honest, who have heard the same evidence with the same desire to arrive at the truth and under the same oath. Likewise, jurors for conviction should ask themselves whether they might not reasonably doubt the correctness of a judgment not concurred in by all other jurors."

 Late Thursday afternoon, jurors asked for transcripts of the testimony from the police use-of-force experts from both the prosecution and the defense. Those transcripts were to be provided Friday morning.

 This story will be updated.