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I am quite amazed by the verdict from the jury on Philando Castile's case where the cop was acquitted of any charges despite the graphic video evidence.

Question: Are jury selected from the same community the crime is committed (in random) or they are based on educational merit. With the evidence presented it was more statistically probable that either jury would not reach a conclusion or will verdict will lead to conviction.

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Specifically in Minnesota,

the Minnesota Judicial Branch obtains names from a list of licensed drivers, state identification card holders, and registered voters residing in your county and compiles that information into a source list. The names of deceased persons, provided by the Department of Health, are removed from the source list. From that list, individuals are randomly selected by computer.

Insofar as Minneapolis is in Hennepin County, residents of Minneapolis would not be called as jurors, but any resident of Ramsey County could be.

  • This is quite surprising that a randomly selected sample out of population would yield such ill-logical verdict. Some cases have strong evidence as well as emotional affinity that could lead to majority of people believing in one way or other, this is such case where majority neutral parties would either wont reach a conclusion or would conclude a conviction but what is quite un-understandable is how could jury "unanimously" evicted the defendant despite random selection. – gfdsal Jun 1 '20 at 19:31
  • Also why residents of Minneapolis would not be called as jurors? – gfdsal Jun 1 '20 at 19:33
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    @gfdsal did you sit through the trial, see all the evidence (not just the salacious evidence the media chooses to show), hear both lawyers arguments and the judges directions? If not, you have no way of telling if the verdict was illogical or not. – Dale M Jun 1 '20 at 21:25
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    @gfdsal from the Wikipedia article on the matter the verdict turned on the specific wording of the law, that is, manslaughter requires more than killing someone. – Dale M Jun 2 '20 at 12:00
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    @gfdsal manslaughter is defined by law and all the elements of the crime need to be proved. One of the elements is killing someone but just killing someone is not enough for manslaughter. I suggest you ask a question about what manslaughter is. – Dale M Jun 2 '20 at 23:27
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The jury is selected (semi-randomly*) from members of "the state and district where the crime shall have been committed", per the Sixth Admendment; as a practical matter, they are pulled from the prosecuting county**.

*The initial selection is done at random; however, lawyers from both sides will eliminate prospective jurors , in a process known as "voir dire" or "jury selection", to eliminate biased jurors.

**In certain cases, the defense can move to change the location that the trial is held and/or the jury is selected from, if they have evidence that the jury pool has been "tainted" against them.

  • Allright, but somehow the thing I dont understand that desipte this so-called "unbias random selection" in place how could jury "unanimously" acquit the charges despite visual evidence. – gfdsal Jun 2 '20 at 12:07
  • @gfdsal the visual evidence does not by itself establish all the elements of the crime of manslaughter. – phoog Jun 3 '20 at 2:15

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