Friday, February 14, 2014
Follow my reasoning here, because I think Crane and I have figured this out.
According to the note, the jury has reached verdicts on all but one count.
Because self-defense is a defense to all five counts, we believe they would have acquitted Dunn on all counts, if they bought his claim of self-defense.
For example, consider the fifth count, which is basically shooting a gun in a public place. It’s kind of a-canary-in-the-coal-mine instruction regarding self-defense because it’s the simplest charge to prove. If they hang on it, they disagree on self-defense and cannot convict on any count.
Therefore, we think they are arguing about something else.
We also don’t see them convicting on the attempt charges and hanging on the main count because the main count drives this verdict.
For example, his mental state and act were the same every time he fired the gun.
Convict on one, whether murder 1, murder 2, manslaughter or whatever, convict on all. Just insert the selected crime after the word attempt.
However, they could have convicted on the main charge and 2 of the 3 attempt charges, but hung as to Leeland Brunson (who was sitting in the back seat next to Jordan), because Dunn was shooting at Jordan intending to hit Jordan. Not sure he even knew Brunson was in the back seat.
The doctrine of transferred intent removes any difficulty in convicting Dunn for the Brunson shooting, but I don’t know if they gave that instruction.
Assume A intends to shoot B, but not C.
Assume A shoots and misses B, killing C.
Q: Can A be convicted of intending to shoot C?
A: Yes, because his intent transfers to the person he shot.
However, murder 2 and manslaughter do not require proof of intent to kill or premeditation. That is why they are easier to prove
We do not see them disagreeing on any of the attempt charges unless they have found that Dunn acted with premeditation. Without an instruction on transferred intent, they might disagree on Brunson.
There you have it.
The jury will resume deliberations at 9 am EDT tomorrow.
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