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Huff jury hung

After one day of deliberation the jury in United States v Darren Huff said:

We are hung.

Huff says he wasn’t trying to cause trouble, and indeed bought coffee and biscuits for the police there.

I’m not surprised the jury is having trouble figuring out Huff’s intent. He said what he said, but then he did what he did.

The jury will try again tomorrow. Stay tuned.

For coverage of the trial and a photo of Huff’s infamous truck, check out the Knoxville News Sentinel.

21 Responses to Huff jury hung

  1. avatar
    john October 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    I don’t believe Huff was trying to cause trouble otherwise he have blown away the police who stopped him on the highway to to fulfill his mission.

  2. avatar
    john October 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    The judge said he was giving the jury another day to decide. I am not sure if that is completely fair to Darren Huff. It might be something they could argue on appeal. The jury said they were hung. The judge should honor their decision and declare a mistrial. The judge appears to be egging the jury on to reach a decision. If they find him guilty, one could argue that the judge coerced the jury into reaching a decision when they had informed the judge they were hung. I think it is unfair for the judge to give the jury more time. The judge should respect that jury’s decision and declare a mistrial.

  3. avatar
    James M October 25, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    It’s probably really hard to convict when the only distinction between criminal and noncriminal behavior rests entirely on the presumption of the defendant’s state of mind, even when the defendant has expressed his state of mind in his own words. It might be particularly hard to get past the idea that perhaps the police stopped a crime from being committed, while making the case to convict someone of the crime that they were stopped from committing. I can imagine a juror seeing this case as asking to convict on thoughtcrime. The burden for proving intent ought to be high, and that burden ought to require someone other than the defendant to make the case against him. The police don’t make much of a case (they knew he had the guns, they heard what the defendant said, and they let him go.) And regardless of his intent, he didn’t incite any violence or assault or kidnap anyone. So if his threats were credible, why didn’t he act on them?

  4. avatar
    realist October 25, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    “So if his threats were credible, why didn’t he act on them?”

    100 or so armed officers on scene is a pretty good deterrent.

  5. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater October 25, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    Sounds like the makings of a stag film. Darren huff and the hung jury.

  6. avatar
    Majority Will October 25, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater:
    Sounds like the makings of a stag film. Darren huff and the hung jury.

    So, when checking on jury deliberations, did the bailiff wink and then ask, “Hey there. How’s it hangin’?”

    Boom chicka wow wow.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 25, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    It is entirely routine for judges to encourage juries to reach a decision in this way. It’s not grounds for appeal.

    john: The judge said he was giving the jury another day to decide. I am not sure if that is completely fair to Darren Huff. It might be something they could argue on appeal.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 25, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    I just want to say that I don’t have a dog in this fight. The jury is in a much better position to judge the case than I am. If an impartial panel can’t decide he’s guilty, then he doesn’t belong in jail. If they do, then he does.

    In any case, the lesson here is that birtherism has consequences — public humiliation if not jail time.

  9. avatar
    roadburner October 25, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I just want to say that I don’t have a dog in this fight. The jury is in a much better position to judge the case than I am. If an impartial panel can’t decide he’s guilty, then he doesn’t belong in jail. If they do, then he does.In any case, the lesson here is that birtherism has consequences — public humiliation if not jail time.

    the question is, if huff is found not guilty, will the birthers claim they´ve won their first case?

    i mean, they do love straw-grabbing

  10. avatar
    bob October 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Huff convicted on one charge:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/oct/25/georgia-man-convicted-of-one-crime-acquitted-of/

  11. avatar
    Joey October 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    john:
    The judge said he was giving the jury another day to decide.I am not sure if that is completely fair to Darren Huff.It might be something they could argue on appeal.The jury said they were hung.The judge should honor their decision and declare a mistrial.The judge appears to be egging the jury on to reach a decision.If they find him guilty, one could argue that the judge coerced the jury into reaching a decision when they had informed the judge they were hung.I think it is unfair for the judge to give the jury more time.The judge should respect that jury’s decision and declare a mistrial.

    If the jury finds Darren Huff not guilty with another day to deliberate, does that mean that one could argue that the prosecution has grounds to appeal as well? Does that mean that the judge coerced the jury into a not guilty verdict?

    A mistrial can mean that the prosecuting attorney can choose to retry Darren Huff and see if another jury will convict him. It’s the prosecutor’s option to retry.

  12. avatar
    Bovril October 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Dazzer has been found guilty on one charge and innocent of one (the lesser) charge.

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/oct/25/georgia-man-convicted-of-one-crime-acquitted-of/

    KNOXVILLE – A jury today convicted a former Georgia militiaman of ferrying guns across state lines in a plot to take over the Monroe County courthouse.

    The jury, however, acquitted Darren Wesley Huff of actually using his .45-caliber handgun and AK-47 assault rifle, as no such armed takeover of the courthouse in Madisonville actually took place in April 2010.

    Considering, that he is now likely to spend the next 2-5 years in Federal prison I do hope the “list” doesn’t get out to his fellow inmates……….

    When arrested, his itemized stash of “stuff” in his truck included a pink remote control vibrator and a DVD of “TrannyHunter”, not the sort of thing you really want the boys in the block to be aware of………….

  13. avatar
    Rickey October 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    john:
    The judge said he was giving the jury another day to decide.I am not sure if that is completely fair to Darren Huff.It might be something they could argue on appeal.The jury said they were hung.The judge should honor their decision and declare a mistrial.The judge appears to be egging the jury on to reach a decision.If they find him guilty, one could argue that the judge coerced the jury into reaching a decision when they had informed the judge they were hung.I think it is unfair for the judge to give the jury more time.The judge should respect that jury’s decision and declare a mistrial.

    Poor John, once again putting his ignorance on public display.

    It would be highly unusual for a judge to declare a mistrial after only one day of deliberations. Most likely he asked the jury foreman how far apart they were. If it is a 12-person jury and they were split 6-6, the judge would be more likely to grant a mistrial than if it was 10-2 or 11-1. A jury isn’t hung until the foreman tells the judge that they are positively, absolutely unable to reach a verdict. The jury’s job is to reach a verdict, not give up after one day.

    I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t be complaining if the jury had resumed deliberations today and had come back with Not Guilty verdicts.

  14. avatar
    G October 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Sorry John, but it looks like Huff was just the typical school yard bully, willing to shoot off his mouth & even attempt violence to get his way as long as there was no one around to oppose him. Once he saw the well armed and prepared police, like most bullies, he showed his true cowardly side and decided not to go through with his plan.

    Typical bully behavior.

    john: I don’t believe Huff was trying to cause trouble otherwise he have blown away the police who stopped him on the highway to to fulfill his mission.

  15. avatar
    Expelliarmus October 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    realist: The court documents related to the verdict may be viewed here

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/70253631/U-S-A-v-DARREN-HUFF-ED-TN-167-JURY-VERDICT-as-to-Darren-Wesley-Huff-1-Guilty-on-Count-1s-Not-Guilty-on-Count-2s-Gov-uscourts-tned-57618-16

    That looks like a good verdict to me. I never could figure out why the government would charge the second count — as it seemed redundant and inapplicable. 18 USC 924(c) prohibits using and carrying a firearm in relation to commission of a crime of violence — but if the only felony being committed is transportation of a firearm, then it make no sense. (Carrying a gun while carrying a gun? ) And of course, no crime of violence actually took place, nor is a “civil disorder” necessarily a “crime of violence”. See http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/924

    I can see where the 2nd count itself would have caused confusion and caused some jurors to balk. It’s one of those situations where overcharging a crime can really backfire on the prosecution. However, in this case, it looks like a night’s sleep helped them all sort it out.

  16. avatar
    Expelliarmus October 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Bovril: Dazzer has been found guilty on one charge and innocent of one (the lesser) charge.

    The second charge was not a “lesser” charge — the charge that Huff was convicted on (count 1, 18 USC 231), is punishable by fine or imprisonment of up to 5 years; the charge that he was acquitted on (18 USC 924(c)) — carried a mandatory term of imprisonment of not less than 7 years (for the brandishing claim). So the jury acquitted on the more serious charge.

  17. avatar
    Keith October 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    john:
    The judge said he was giving the jury another day to decide.I am not sure if that is completely fair to Darren Huff.It might be something they could argue on appeal.The jury said they were hung.The judge should honor their decision and declare a mistrial.The judge appears to be egging the jury on to reach a decision.If they find him guilty, one could argue that the judge coerced the jury into reaching a decision when they had informed the judge they were hung.I think it is unfair for the judge to give the jury more time.The judge should respect that jury’s decision and declare a mistrial.

    To quote Joe Friday: “Its just routine ma’am”.

    Or to quote Vince Lombardi: “Playing for a tie is like kissing your sister”.

    Judges really dislike hung juries and bend over backwards to get a result. A hung jury is likely to result in another trial and a doubling of the expense to the taxpayer.

  18. avatar
    Daniel October 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    And since the jury ain’t dismissed until the Judge says they are, he can send them back to the deliberations room until he believes they’ve made enough of an effort.

    That, in no way, constitutes coercion, since he’s not directing them what verdict to find, guilty or innocent.

  19. avatar
    brygenon October 26, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    john: The judge said he was giving the jury another day to decide. I am not sure if that is completely fair to Darren Huff. It might be something they could argue on appeal.

    As you theorized that you know the law better than the judge, did it occur to you to type “hung jury” into Google? To spend two minutes checking whether your legal theory might be bollocks?

    I spent the two minutes. O.K. — I didn’t actually time it — but that’s about how long it took. See Allen v. United States, 164 U.S. 492 (1896). The U.S. Supreme Court settled this over a century ago, and federal judges have been giving juries the “Allen charge” ever since. You think it unfair? Well, some states do not allow the Allen charge in their courts, but this case is federal.

    Where’s your argument on appeal now? Does it dawn on you that Huff’s lawyer might just be better at what he does for a living than you are at what you post on out of ignorance and carelessness?

  20. avatar
    Arthur October 26, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    On Scribd there is an interesting document that appears to be Dept. of Justice, Receipt for Returned Property given to Darren Huff last summer. Among the items listed are:

    One (1) DVD Containing pornographic material “Tranny Hunter”
    One (1) Pink dildo with remote
    Four (4) Condoms
    One (1) bottle of K-Y gel

    For all his big-boy, macho-truck posturing, it appears Darren has a softer side . . . perhaps something he’ll have time to explore in prison?

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/65129152/U-S-A-v-DARREN-HUFF-115-3-Exhibit-3-6-11-2010-Receipt-for-Returned-Property-Gov-uscourts-tned-57618-115-3