Juror causes mistrial after admitting she did not support verdict: ‘What have I done?’

A segment of American society sees virtually every aspect of the culture through a racial lens, making determinations based primarily, if not solely, on the color of a person’s skin.

That concept appears to have been at play among jurors who failed to reach a unanimous decision in a high-profile murder trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

According to WPTV, the hung jury prompted the judge to declare a mistrial in the trial of Dayonte Resiles.

Vicious stabbing in victim’s home

The defendant was charged with the murder of a Broward County woman in 2014 and infamously escaped from a courthouse two years later, leading police on a six-day manhunt before he was ultimately tracked down and returned to custody.

Although the jury seemed to unanimously agree that Resiles was guilty of manslaughter, that decision was withdrawn when the jury foreperson subsequently admitted that she did not agree with the verdict.

As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, she explained in a post-trial interview that the defendant’s race became a factor during deliberations.

While the jurors agreed that Resiles was guilty of stabbing the victim to death in her own home, three of them reportedly pushed back against convicting him of first-degree murder, thus sending the Black man to prison for life or potentially to death row.

“A knot in the pit of my stomach”

The lesser manslaughter charge stood out as a compromise, but the jury foreperson shared her disgust over the fact that a killer would escape a first-degree murder rap.

“I just got a knot in the pit of my stomach,” she said. “I looked at the defense table. They were just cheering and patting him on the back, like he graduated high school or made the winning touchdown at a football game. I thought, what have I done? Is this the world I am creating for my children, a world where someone can get away with murder because of the color of their skin?”

She went on to reveal that other jurors had essentially accused her of racism for being willing to convict Resiles of murder.

Of course, the juror said she was responding solely to the evidence presented in court, including his DNA at the scene and prior attempts to evade arrest.

As for her decision to tell the court clerk that she did not support the decision, it has resulted in a new trial for Resiles, which is set to begin on Jan. 3.

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