Slager Juror: I Can’t Vote Guilty

CHARLESTON—A judge called recess in the trial on Friday evening in the case of white officer Michael Slager, who fatally shot unarmed black man Walter Scott last April in North Charleston. Eleven jurors have voted to convict Slager of either manslaughter or murder, but one juror is holding out. The juror sent a letter to the judge describing the choice: “Judge, I understand the position of the court, but I cannot with good conscience consider a guilty verdict,” he or she wrote. “I respect the position of my fellow jurors, some of which oppose my position. I expect those who hold opposing views not to change their minds because I see them as good, honest people. Therefore I regret to say we may never reach a unanimous decision. As you stated, we must follow the instructions you have given us and the law. We all struggled with the death of a man and with all that has been put before us. I still cannot, without a reasonable doubt, convict the defendant. At the same time, my heart does not want to have to tell the Scott family that the man who killed their son, brother, and father is innocent. But with the choices, I cannot and will not change my mind.”

Jason Ryan