Jury Deliberation Begins in Danziger Bridge Trial
Posted on Aug 3, 2011 in Katrina, Local Issues, NOPD
Everything that occurs behind the closed doors of Jury deliberation remains secret, which makes imposing rules on deliberation a difficult concept, but the court’s process up until the doors close is designed to ensure just application of the law. Jurors are reminded of exactly what charges each defendant is facing and what elements of the law to consider while deliberating. The jury must return a unanimous verdict for each charge. The court also instructs the jury to elect a foreperson, who will facilitate debate amongst the jurors and communication with the court. Each juror may also receive a form suggesting proper behavior in the deliberation.
The twelve jurors of the Danziger bridge trial had a similar experience to this early this morning as they began deliberations. US district judge Kirk Engelhardt instructed them on their responsibilities and the applicable elements of the law. Deliberation is expected to be lengthy for such a complicated case as this.
Four of the five defendants;Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius, Kenneth Bowen, and Anthony Villavaso; are charged with civil rights violations which carry heavy sentences. The same four officers face federal firearms charges forcing the jury to decide whether the death of 17 year old James Brissette was murder. A single defendant, Robert Faulcon, faces a second count for the death of 40 year old, mentally handicapped Ronald Madison. Finally, all five defendants are accused of conspiring to cover up the shooting, the only charge leveled against Officer Arthur Kaufman.
The jury must decide guilt or innocence for each individual charge for each individual officer. After the deliberation process, Judge Engelhardt will move to sentencing. Michael Hunter who last year pled guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice received eight years in prison. Coverage of the entire trial can be found at nola.com.
The legal system is a complicated mechanism filled with difficult procedures and odd idiosyncrasies. It is important to hire a legal professional if you face charges. The personal injury and criminal justice experts at Bloom Legal can fight for your case. Contact us at 504-599-9997 for a legal consultation.