Warren Jeffs: Jury hung on one count, decides on another


ST. GEORGE — The jury in the Warren Jeffs trial has come to a decision on one count of the two charges against the polygamist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but is hung on the second count.

Meeting in the 5th District Courthouse shortly after asking the judge for claarification on an issue, the jurors cannot come to agreement on the second count of rape as an accomplice against Jeffs. That charge is based on alleged activities that took place between May 13, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2003.

The first charge, which the jury has decided on, but whose verdict has not been announced, allegedly occurred between April 23, 2001 and May 21, 2001.

Judge James L. Shumate instructed the jury to return to the deliberation room and review jury instruction 16.

That section of jury instructions deals with the conduct of jurors and instructs them to “express the individual opinion” of each of them.

“It is rarely productive for a juror, upon entering the jury room, to make an emphatic expression of opinion on the case or to announce a determination to stand for a certain verdict,” the instruction reads. “:When you have first reached a conclusion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant, you should not lightly change it merely because other jurors may disagree with you. Discuss your opinions with open minds and if you are satisfied that your first conclusion was wrong, then you may change it. Remember that you are not partisans or advocates, but rather, judges.”


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Patrice St. Germain, The Spectrum, Sep. 24, 2007, http://www.thespectrum.com

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday September 25, 2007.
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