October 2013 - Pg 7-President’s Message
Another Hung Jury
Over the last three years, I have worked as an expert/consultant on eight separate self-defense cases. An amazing statistic has surfaced from those trials. Six out of eight–a full three quarters–of those trials have ended in hung juries. Mistrials were declared because the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict. In most, if not all of the cases that ended in mistrials, the jury vote was largely in favor of the defendant, but one or more holdouts simply would not come to grips with the right of armed self defense.
Interestingly, ALL of these jury trials involved an armed defender against unarmed but physically aggressive combatants. In five of these hung jury trials, one of the combatants died and in all of the cases, the defender used a gun. I believe self-defense trials involve a dynamic that is largely unseen in other trials: the societal conflict between pro-gun and anti-gun beliefs. This schism is carrying over into juries, and often the anti-gun side is simply unwilling to acquit, despite the evidence of justifiable homicide.
Over the next year, I am going to be researching and otherwise taking a very hard look at this phenomenon, and perhaps come up with some ways attorneys and experts can help mitigate this factor. I have already started by having some conversations with an expert in trial strategy who is a paid jury consultant. She has recently joined the Network, and has agreed to share her thoughts on the subject with our members in a future edition of this journal.
Network Affiliated Gun Shop or Affiliated Instructor?
If your membership in the Network is the result of participation in our affiliate program, then this message is for you. Recently, we have started taking a hard look at the affiliated members, to evaluate who is actually performing some service to the Network.
We at the Network give complimentary memberships to gun shop owners/managers and to firearms instructors who actively promote the Network. Each month dozens of new members join the Network because of these promotional activities by our friends and affiliates.
Unfortunately, some affiliates have not requested booklets or other promotional material since we first affiliated with them, some as far back as 2010. Yes, we do keep track. We have been contacting these apparently inactive affiliates to see if there is a problem and to try to help them get on the right track or convert their membership to a paid status.
Legal Defense Fund Update
In closing, I am pleased to announce that our Legal Defense Fund has exceeded $300,000. I like it when we reach large figure milestones like this one. Of course, the growth of the Legal Defense Fund is only accomplished through new membership purchases and membership renewals, combined with the contributions our corporate sponsors give us through product and services we auction as fund raisers. We are well on our way to the half a million dollar goal I set for the Network when we first started not so long ago in 2008. I am looking forward to that day.
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