Jurors say "We cannot come to a consensus on a single count.” What does it mean?

The jury foreman in the Paul Manafort trial gave a note to the judge asking how jurors should fill out the verdict form “if we cannot come to a consensus on a single count.” The judge interprets that to mean that the jury has failed to reach a unanimous verdict on only a single count. I assume that means that they are hung on all the counts. What do you think?

Without more context from the jury’s question, I think it’s simply impossible to say. It’s very easy to interpret that sentence, alone, either way (and be justified in interpreting it in that way).

I have to believe that the question given to the judge contained more information (or that the jury would have provided that information to the judge when he questioned them). If the sentence was meant to stand on its own, it would have been far clearer as:

“We cannot come to a consensus on any of the counts.”


“We cannot come to a consensus on one of the counts.”

I lean more to the idea that they cannot agree on one of the counts, not all of them. But that doesn’t make sense - if one juror votes Not Guilty on any count, Manafort cannot be convicted on that count. I also think “consensus” is different from “unanimous”, although perhaps not in this circumstance.

An 11-1 split on any count means Not Guilty on that count. Anything other than 12-0 on any count means Not Guilty as well.


Doesn’t anything other than 12-0 or 0-12 mean a hung jury and a mistrial? Which is very different from a Not Guilty verdict.

Not exactly Certainly “Not Guilty” for now (as in “presumed innocent”) but not as in a 12-0 Not Guilty verdict. Counts resulting in a hung jury can be retried.

The entire question is:

Your honor, if we cannot come to a consensus on a single count, how should we fill in the jury verdict form for that count?

That unambiguously indicates they cannot decide on one count out of the 18. And not reaching a unanimous verdict on a count is not at all the same as being found not guilty.

This is different reporting than the Washington Post. Where did it come from?

If that’s what the question said, I agree that the jury meant they were deadlocked on only a single count.

CNN has a slightly different variation: “If we cannot come to a consensus for a single count, how can we fill in the verdict sheet?”

If that’s what the note said, I’m inclined to stick with my answer.

I copied and pasted the text of the question directly from the article linked in the OP.

Mithras, I swear the story didn’t say that when I posted my question. The current time stamp on the story reads 12:56 PM (presumably Eastern time), which is 18 minutes after 11:38 AM Central time when I made my post. I think the Post changed the story a bit but the website doesn’t indicate that they did. The jury’s question seems a lot less ambiguous now than when I asked about it. Thanks.

It does not seem likely that they acquitted him on 17 counts and one person could not be persuaded he was innocent on the last.

But this doesn’t get anywhere on collusion. I wish Mueller would shit or get off the pot.

He is shitting - just there was a lot to digest, and it being Trump-related, some of it was pretty cheesy.

Don’t worry, I’m not shitting you, and I don’t smoke pot.

I am sure everyone has heard, but to finish this thread, the jury convicted on 8 counts and the judge declared a mistrial on 10 counts. This trial is over.

Right, and of course a mistrial is a different result than a “not guilty” result. Jury results must be unanimous. Since there was no unanimous guilty or not guilty verdict for those count jeopardy does not attach and he can be retried for those counts.

I dunno if it’s worth retrying him on the hung counts. The convictions he has carry enough possible prison time to put him away for a long time…or until Trump pardons him, which would not surprise me.

Today his lawyer has said he will not accept a pardon from Trump.
From what I read, it sounded like he is pissed at Trump – fells like Trump tossed him ‘under the bus’ – and so is out to get even by cooperating with the Special Prosecutor. (And maybe hoping that such cooperation will reduce his sentence.)