Since I live near Cincinnati, I feel compelled to post about the three jurors who are now recanting their prior guilty verdict in the trial of former Judge Tracie Hunter. As a general rule, courts rarely overturn a verdict due to a juror's second thoughts. However, in this case, the defense may have an argument because of how the trial judge polled the jury. As I have discussed previously, courts have routinely overturned a verdict because of improper juror polling by the judge. While the process is fairly straightforward, problems do arise.
In this case, after five weeks of trial and three days of deliberation, the jury told the judge that they had a verdict on one of the nine felony charges but were deadlocked on the other eight. The trial judge then called the jurors into the courtroom and asked them if they had reached a verdict on the one charge and they said "yes." However, the judge never read aloud the verdict on the one charge nor did he individually poll the jurors which is what normally occurs. The guilty verdict form, which had been signed by all the jurors, was then sealed and the jurors went back to deliberating on the remaining eight charges. Ultimately, the jurors never arrived at a unanimous verdict on the remaining charges and the judge declared a mistrial.
Since declaring the mistrial, three jurors, all of whom are Black, now claim in sworn statements that they were pressured by other jurors to vote guilty. The defendant in this case is also Black and many in the community have questioned her prosecution from the beginning believing that it was politically motivated.