What can be deduced from the length of jury deliberations in the Rittenhouse case? Not much, experts say.

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U.S.|What tin beryllium deduced from the magnitude of assemblage deliberations successful the Rittenhouse case? Not much, experts say.


Juries tin instrumentality days to either acquit oregon convict.

Kyle Rittenhouse astatine  a gathering  called by Judge Bruce Schroeder successful  Kenosha County Courthouse connected  Thursday.
Credit...Pool photograph by Sean Krajacic

Nov. 18, 2021, 3:40 p.m. ET

KENOSHA, Wis. — Only 12 radical cognize definitively wherefore assemblage deliberations successful the Kyle Rittenhouse proceedings person lasted astir 3 days without a verdict.

But 1 happening is clear: The magnitude of the deliberations is not needfully a bully oregon atrocious motion for either side, and determination person been high-profile precedents for some acquittals and convictions aft lengthy deliberations.

The lone things jurors person made wide astir their attack is that astatine slightest immoderate of them wanted to rewatch parts of the copious video footage shown astatine proceedings and that they needed much copies of the 36 pages of assemblage instructions.

Juries tin instrumentality days to either acquit oregon convict. Jurors successful Minneapolis deliberated for astir 10 hours implicit 2 days successful April earlier convicting Derek Chauvin, a erstwhile constabulary officer, of charges including second-degree execution for sidesplitting George Floyd.

A Florida assemblage weighed charges against George Zimmerman for much than 16 hours earlier acquitting him successful 2013 of counts including second-degree execution for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.

It took about 35 hours implicit 9 days for jurors successful California to acquit the histrion Robert Blake successful 2005 of murdering his wife. “You can’t work thing into it successful presumption of the magnitude of the deliberations different than it’s truthful intensely stressful for the parties,” said Ion Meyn, an adjunct prof astatine the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Mr. Meyn noted that Mr. Rittenhouse’s defence has sought to bounds the fig of times jurors could rewatch videos portion prosecutors argued for unlimited viewing. That makes sense, Mr. Meyn said, due to the fact that his lawyers would much apt privation jurors to absorption connected Mr. Rittenhouse’s testimony.

The defence lawyers’ champion lawsuit is “if the assemblage believes what comes retired of their client’s mouth,” Mr. Meyn said. As the hours person passed successful Mr. Rittenhouse’s case, agelong stretches with nary connection from the assemblage person been punctuated by the parties being called backmost to tribunal for notes from the jury, arguments implicit motions and different matters.

The clip taken and the jury’s petition for the video grounds suggest the sheet is utilizing an evidence-based attack that is much apt to pb to a thorough deliberation and little apt a deadlock, said Valerie Hans, a prof astatine Cornell Law School who has extensively studied the assemblage system.

Juries volition sometimes instrumentality a “verdict-driven” attack successful which radical authorities their opinions aboriginal successful deliberations, she said. “If you accidental close away, ‘guilty’ oregon ‘not guilty’ you’ve made thing of a nationalist commitment” to a presumption that is little apt to change, Ms. Hans said.

That attack is much apt to pb to a hung jury, she added.

Mr. Rittenhouse, his household members and lawyers person holed up successful a country 1 level up from the courtroom wherever Bruce Schroeder, a Kenosha County Circuit Court judge, has been moving done different cases portion helium waits.

Not knowing what jurors are reasoning takes a toll, said John A. Birdsall, a Milwaukee-based lawyer who is not progressive successful Mr. Rittenhouse’s proceedings but has endured assemblage deliberations lasting up to a week.

He said helium has spent those stretches trying to enactment connected his different cases. “It’s precise nerve-racking. You’re trying to parse each question that comes down to gauge wherever they’re at,” helium said. “But, of course, it’s each conscionable conjecture work.”

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