Friday, March 21, 2014

Man sentenced despite acquittal

Antwuan Ball was charged with a long list of serious drug dealing crimes, acquitted by a jury of everything except one $600 sale, and sentenced to 18 years in prison based on the unproven allegations. I did not know that was possible. It seems contrary to the American right to a jury trial.

Remember that if you are ever serving on a jury. If you believe that the defendant is innocent of the most serious counts, you might have to acquit him of the minor counts as well, in order to get that outcome. Prosecutors often overcharge defendants in order to get a compromise verdict and then to persuade the judge of an extra-long sentence. Do not fall for it.

There is more legal analysis.

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