The jury in the trial of Pedro Hernandez, who stands accused of murdering six-year-old Etan Patz in 1979, for a second time in less than a week say they could not reach a unanimous verdict, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A note from the jury read:
“We the jury would like the court to know that after serious, significant and thorough deliberations we remain unable to reach a unanimous decision.”
Justice Maxwell Wiley has yet again sent the jury back into deliberations to reach a decision, despite objections from attorneys from both sides of the case, CNN reported.
Justice Wiley expressed his desire for the jury for the jury to continue to come to a verdict, saying,
“I would like them to continue on just at least one more time… I don’t think an additional Allen Charge is unlawful or unwarranted.”
The defense attorney for Hernandez called on the judge to declare the case a mistrial. The jury had been in deliberations for fourteen days in the case that has gone on since late January 2015, as reported by The Inquisitr.
Hernandez’s attorney, Harvey Fishbein, said about the jury,
“They have said that they are finished, and we ask the court to respect that and not to send them back – that’s why he did this over our objection.”
Though the district attorney asked the judge to tell the jury to continue deliberations, she still objected to the judge’s further instructions, known as an Allen Charge, the the jury.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said about the judge’s decision to send the jury back to deliberate:
“The tone of this, judge, is that any verdict will do… I would rather… a second trial than a verdict simply for a verdict’s sake.”
Justice Wiley denied both attorneys motions for mistrial. Wiley gave both attorneys a single-paged draft of the new charge for the jury. It was then that both attorneys objected. The district attorney felt that the charge invited them to acquit the defendant, while the defense attorney felt that the jury’s decision should be respected and the case should be declared a mistrial.
Despite facing objections from both sides of the case, Justice Wiley ordered the jury to continue their deliberations and reach a verdict,
“Over both parties’ objections, I’m going to deliver this… I’d like you to keep deliberating… You’ve worked as hard on this case as anybody can work on it.”
Justice Wiley told the jury:
“It’s safe to say that your verdict, whatever it is, will be second-guessed publicly by any number of people, but please do not be concerned about that,”
Afterward, Wiley told the jury,
“I’m going to direct you to continue your deliberations now… Good luck.”
The jury returned to their jury room to continue their deliberations for a second time at 12:45 p.m. They were later dismissed for the day at 5 p.m.