More evidence that the jury may have decided that Lynch was entitled to attack the priest
In a sign earlier this week that at least some members of the jury were leaning toward acquittal, the panel took the highly unusual step of asking the judge for the definition of nullification, which is when a jury acquits a defendant despite evidence of guilt because it believes a conviction would be unjust.
The question initially stunned the judge and lawyers, who argued over how to respond. Over the vehement objections of Lynch’s lawyers, the judge ended up telling the jury today they had to obey his instrutions to follow the law, and deliberations continued. At that point, the defense braced for a conviction, said Paul A. Mones, one of Lynch’s attorneys.
Defense lawyers in California can’t directly urge the jury to nullify, But during closing arguments Harris had managed to get his message across.
"There is a defense to that “overzealous” decision by the prosecution, Harris had said – “you,” looking at the jurors.