Deliberating Johannes Mehserle's Fate

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Jul 2, 2010  |  Updated 1:08 PM PDT
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Deliberating Johannes Mehserle's Fate

AP

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The fate of Johannes Mehserle is in the jury's hands.

Judge Robert Perry heard closing arguments from both sides and the prosecution's rebuttal Friday the gave the jurors their instructions. They were to begin deliberating at 1:30 p.m.

"You must decide what the facts are," Perry said during the 40-minute instruction period. "It's up to you and you only."

Jurors will have the option of convicting Mehserle of second-degree murder or the lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Jurors will also have the option  of finding Mehserle not guilty of all charges.

Legal analyst Steven Clark says there is a good possibility of a hung jury.

He says the pressure is now on both the prosecution and the defense to make an impression that will last through the weekend.

"This involves the jurors' gut emotion as to whether they're going to send an officer to jail.  that's a huge issue for this jury." Clark said "They're also going to look at these video tapes and see Oscar Grant did not deserve to die, so those two things are going to be resonating in that jury room as the jury decides how they're going to handle this evidence. Each side knows that it's their last chance to make an emotional pitch to this jury so that that's the last thing they think about when they go home for this holiday weekend."

If the jury does deadlock, it's up to the prosecutors to decide whether to try Mehserle again. If they do, a new jury and judge will be chosen.

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