“I believe that a hung jury is a real possibility” Donald Trump Jury ‘Will Convict’ in New York Trial, Legal Analyst Predicts

by Jessica
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Legal analyst and attorney Glenn Kirschner predicted on Friday that the jury “will convict Donald Trump” in his criminal hush money trial. In just three days, the prosecution and defense will deliver their closing remarks in Trump’s trial, with the jury then beginning their deliberations to determine if the former president is guilty or not.

Following an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was indicted in March 2023 on 34 counts of falsifying business records, accused of attempting to conceal hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels by Trump’s then-lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels had alleged she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which he has denied.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges and said the case against him is politically motivated. In a Friday video on his YouTube channel, Kirschner, a former assistant U.S. attorney and frequent critic of the former president, said, “I believe that the jury, applying its common sense, will see exactly who’s responsible for those crimes, who benefited from those crimes, and I believe they will convict Donald Trump and hold him accountable.”

In a criminal trial, a jury must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, if not, the defendant is deemed not guilty. The jury must submit a unanimous vote, otherwise, it is considered a hung jury. Kirschner said in a YouTube video on Wednesday that there’s a “mountain” of corroborating evidence against the former president, referencing witness testimonies, business records, and reimbursement checks.

“The evidence has proved, friends, beyond all doubt, not just beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond all doubt that Donald Trump committed these crimes,” he said. Other legal analysts have weighed in on jury predictions, with some leaning towards the possibility of a hung jury instead of a conviction or acquittal.

Given the demographic of the jury pool in the largely Democratic New York City, many suggest an acquittal is unlikely. Numerous experts have noted the near impossibility of making informed predictions without being in the courtroom.

Criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor Rocco Cipparone told Newsweek in a phone interview on Saturday morning that “if you’re not in a courtroom daily and you can’t observe the nuances of what goes on, including like witnesses’ credibility and things like that…it’s hard to predict.”

He also outlined the three possible outcomes: acquittal, conviction, and hung. When discussing the possibility of a conviction, Cipparone told Newsweek, “In many respects, to convict, the jury would have to accept the credibility of Cohen, which is a big ask. He has a lot of admitted and unadmitted baggage.”

Cohen is a disbarred lawyer who previously pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress. If a jury does convict, Cipparone explained that the judge then sets a sentencing date, and in between that date, “usually, at least in a case like this and certainly in a lot of white collar cases, you’ll see the motions to overturn the jury verdict.”

But in this instance, Cipparone said, “If I am predicting on the limited external information I have, a hung jury is the more likely result.” In the case of a complete acquittal, with a unanimous jury verdict of not guilty, Cipparone said the former president “is literally free to go at that moment.

It’s over, it’s done, it cannot be ever re-done. Those particular charges can never be brought again in New York. He’s free and clear and can just walk right out of the courtroom.” Meanwhile, former U.S. attorney and law professor at the University of Michigan.

Barbara McQuade, told Newsweek in an email on Thursday, that “it is always difficult to predict what juries might do because they each come to court with their own experiences and worldviews, and because they had the advantage of seeing up close every moment of the trial.”

She added: “But the prosecution has certainly provided sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Former federal and state prosecutor Elie Honig wrote an Intelligencer article on Friday morning and wrote, “A guilty verdict remains probable in my view—but the chances of a hung jury (and the resulting mistrial) are far higher than in a normal case,” since the evidence against Trump is “middling—not overwhelming, not patently deficient, but somewhere toward the lower end of that spectrum.”

Honig, like several legal analysts, including Cipparone, pointed to the challenge of resting the case on the prosecution’s key witness Cohen. Jonathan Turley, a legal analyst and attorney who is also a professor at George Washington University Law School, told Newsweek in an email Friday afternoon, “I believe that a hung jury is a real possibility…I would currently put a hung jury as the most likely outcome of the three outcomes.”

“I recognize that this is the worst possible jury pool for Trump,” Turley wrote, presumably due to the former president’s previous low polling in New York City. However, he added, “I have often seen jurors overcome bias and I am hoping that these jurors will redeem the integrity of the New York legal system with at least a hung jury.”

“I do not see a real possibility of an acquittal,” which would mean exonerating Trump, “while a conviction is clearly a possibility,” he added.

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