It’s day four of deliberations in the trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez. On Wednesday the judge re-read instructions to the jurors encouraging them to try to the best of their ability to reach agreement, while holding on to their honest opinions. Former U-S Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger says “this is a standard method that courts use when faced with a potential deadlocked jury.” Heffelfinger says before a deadlocked jury can be declared, the judge would have to make a specific finding that there is no reasonable probability of agreement by the jury. Heffelfinger says if the jury were to be declared deadlocked, the prosecution would have two options: dismiss the case or try it again. If it gets to that, Heffelfinger expects the decision to be made very quickly.
Philando Castile’s Uncle Clarence Castile spoke with reporters after deliberations Wednesday and said he’s not concerned about the time it’s taking the jury, or the fact that the judge re-read instructions to them. Castile says he want s the jury to “come up with a good decision and that’s what’s important to me and my family…that they take their time and come up with the right decision.” Asked if he’s worried about a deadlocked jury, Castile responded “no, I’m not worried whatsoever, because I have faith. I have faith.” Yanez’ attorneys did not offer comment at the end of Wednesday’s deliberations.
MNN’s Scott Peterson’s full interview with Thomas Heffelfinger: