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Carruth: A Logically Inconsistent Verdict
Did the Jury Compromise on the Outcome?

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"I cannot believe that anyone who is totally innocent would have even conceived an idea of getting rid of two human beings in this manner. Are you saying that these "career" criminals suggested the crime and then forced him to go along with it?"
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Do you think Rae Carruth was involved in his girlfriend's murder?

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Rae Carruth found out Friday, he would be going to prison for his part in the murder of Cherica Adams, although he would not face the death penalty for it. Just 24 hours after they claimed they were hopelessly deadlocked, the jury came back with a surprising and confusing verdict.

Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child. Somehow he was found not guilty of first-degree murder.

Defense attorney David Rudolph said, "I think it's logically inconsistent, and that's something that troubles me greatly. I believe that jurors ought to vote their conscience and not engage in compromises that are logically inconsistent, and so I am troubled by that."

He was so troubled, in fact, the defense is already planning to appeal the verdict.

Now I don't claim to be an expert on the American justice system, but it seems to me there is a serious flaw in the verdict the jury delivered. Logically inconsistent, as Rudolph stated, is a good way to put it.

Take a look at the four charges against Carruth. The Jury says he is guilty of using an instrument to destroy an unborn child. They say he is also guilty of conspiring to commit murder. Then to cap it off the jurors agreed that Rae Carruth is guilty of shooting a firearm into an occupied vehicle.

So if Rae is guilty of doing all of those things to Adams, how can he possibly be found not guilty of first-degree murder? How can he be guilty of planning the murder and shooting the gun, but not guilty of the murder itself?

It is impossible to know what went on during jury deliberations, but I have to wonder if this jury felt they would never agree on a verdict. So, in an attempt to circumvent the judge's orders to deliberate until they agreed on a verdict, some jurors compromised on one charge to get the convictions on the other three.

I'm not sure what the jury thought they were accomplishing by rendering this verdict, other than getting to go home early maybe, but I think they have really screwed this case up, whether Rae is guilty or not.

If they were truly deadlocked, the jury should have continued to deliberate in good faith until the judge decided they had been out long enough. Now, instead of being able to declare a mistrial and re-try Carruth, the jury has locked in a not guilty verdict on the murder charge, for which Carruth cannot be charged again.

Either way, they goofed big time! They either sent an innocent man to prison or they let a killer off lightly.

Rae now faces about 20 years in prison, provided none of the other convictions are overturned by an appeals court. Had he been convicted on the murder charge, he could have faced the death penalty.

Logically inconsistent… that says it all!

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