Deedy verdict deliberations surpass week, break until Monday

Published On: Aug 22 2013 04:16:00 PM HST

Day 5 of deliberations in the murder trial of a federal agent has come and gone, with 12 jurors calling it quits just after 4 p.m. Thursday.

Yet, the strategies on how to persuade jurors started long before the Christopher Deedy trial even began.

You've probably heard the phase "it's a slam dunk case."

Experts say, not only is there no such thing, but the strategies on how to win, can change day-by-day.

Jury consulting expert Marshall Hennington in California has managed everything from big corporate to criminal cases.

He told KITV4 reporter Lara Yamada, jury selection is key to a case, including weeding out what he calls stealth jurors. Those are jurors who are on that panel for the wrong reasons, such as fame or sabotage.

Hennington said he's come across many jurors who, for various reasons, are willing to lie about why they are there.

He said it’s critical for attorneys to make sure, not only their client, but their witnesses come across as credible, believable and likable – that, along with sticking to what they want the theme of their case to be.

Hennington said the goal is making sure jurors connect to a case.

"It has to do with the art of persuasion. It has to do with what is the story of your case, and it also has to do with who your audience is going to be and if they're going to buy that story. That's why jury selection is so important, because if you have the wrong audience, but you have the right story it doesn't matter. They're not going to be persuaded,” said Hennington.

He added that murder cases are notoriously difficult to predict.

Case in point: the recent Trayvon Martin murder trial. Despite most predictions the jury acquitted shooter George Zimmerman.

Hennington said he's seen cases turn for the simplest reasons; perhaps a juror didn't like the way the defendant dressed or felt they were speaking down to them.

As for why deliberations may take longer, in his experience, he said it's typically as few as one or two jurors opposing the group.

According to officials with the state judiciary, deliberations will continue on Monday.


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