Shocking a world that expected it to return the first ever official "So fucking guilty. I mean, come on, look at that guy!" verdict in the history of American jurisprudence, the jury in the Phil Spector murder trial today instead informed the court that it was unable to reach a verdict in the case. Perhaps suspecting that a number of his jurors had somehow been exposed to the mesmerizing, reasonable-doubt-instilling stare of Team Spector's sad-eyed Great Dane, Judge Larry Paul Fidler sent them home for the day, hoping that they'll return in a more unanimously decisive mood tomorrow. Reports the LAT:
"It is possible I may give you further instructions tomorrow," Fidler told the nine men and three women on the jury. He warned the jury that he might ask the lawyers to reargue a part of the instructions.
"Just set the case aside for the rest of the day," he said and then dismissed them for the day
Fidler will meet with the defense and prosecution to discuss what is next. Earlier, he had suggested that he might consider a lesser charge than second-degree murder.
When Fidler brought the jury back he questioned the foreman, Juror 10, a civil engineer.
The foreman said the jury was split 7-5, but wasn't allowed to say what the position of the majority was.
"I believe it comes down to individual jurors," the foreman said. "At this time we don't believe anything will change the positions of the jurors."
Fidler then polled the jury.
At least three jurors indicated that something more might be done to force a verdict. They cited questions about reasonable doubt.
We suppose we'll have to wait and see if tomorrow's reargued instructions prove more effective in helping the jury confidently return a verdict; hopefully, the frustrated prosecution can resist the temptation to succumb to a mistrial-inducing impulse to blurt out, "What do we need to do, hand him a gun and see if he shoots the stenographer, then tries to explain that she followed him into court today to finally indulge her suicidal impulses?," ruining untold months of hard work.