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Huguely Trial: The Jury's Mindset

By: Carter Johnson Email
By: Carter Johnson Email

City Preps for Verdict

With an impending verdict, media interest in the case is growing. City Spokesperson Ric Barrick says a significantly larger number of people will be in town Wednesday.

Fourth Street will remain closed for satellite truck parking, but High Street will stay open during deliberations.

"People should expect a large frenzy right after the verdict is read. There is intense interest in the case, and because of that, we expect to have at least 15 or 16 TV live trucks set up to cover it live."

The Huguely and Love families will be allowed to come and go from the courtroom as they please, but jurors will likely be released separately after they are debriefed in court.

February 21, 2012

“A scene from a horror movie”, “a stupid drunk” and “just a boy athlete” are some of the many emotional pleas made in closing arguments Saturday in the George Huguely murder trial.

But will the emotional appeal still be strong three days later?

“Something like this that brought up the emotions, you would expect that to dissipate a little bit over these four days. So the arguments are relying more on the facts and the evidence and not on the emotional part of that,” said Jeffrey Frederick, Director of Jury Research Services for the National Jury Research Group.

Frederick believes the jury made a wise decision by waiting to deliberate and not rushing to a verdict. He says the recess gives them time to reflect.

“They’re likely to solidify a little bit of their decisions, but then they’re also likely to identify question areas that they’ll want to discuss and have their fellow jurors have impact,” he explained.

The jury has to reach a unanimous decision on all six charges Huguely faces in connection to Yeardley Love’s May 2010 death. If the jury initially agrees then the process will move faster, something experts call a “verdict-driven jury.” However, Frederick says in a case of this magnitude the jury will take time to review all the evidence.

“You have all those media trucks out front. They know about this, and so I wouldn’t be surprised if [the jury takes] a little bit more time and shift to an evidence-driver jury because of that,” he said.

Two of the current 14 jurors will be excused first thing Wednesday morning. The two individuals have sat through the entire trial unaware of their status as alternates, as only Judge Edward Hogshire and lawyers on both sides know who they are.

The 12-person jury will be allowed to review any piece of evidence, from Love’s broken bedroom door to Huguely’s taped statement to Charlottesville Police. Then, they will decide the accused murderer’s fate.

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