BREAKING: The Karen Read Murder Case Ends in a Mistrial

After nine weeks of evidence, just under a week of jury deliberations, and an almost amount of words written and said about the trial of Karen Read charged with murdering her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe, the jury has declared they are unable to agree on a verdict. 

This is something I Tweeted about toward the end of the day on Friday:

The judge began today giving the jury that Tuey-Rodriguez order. Which is the last, desperate hope the court has. It's essentially reminding them no 12 other people would be more qualified or better able to reach a unanimous verdict. That's all anyone can do. Their reply later on was not promising:

People have been speculating about what the breakdown was in terms of numbers, and were predicting it was one lone juror holding out, like Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men. I rejected that wholeheartedly because the only people walking the Earth who knew what was going on in that room were the jurors themselves. The very last thing that happens in a trial is the Court Officers swear and oath that they will guard the door. That they will "not speak to the jurors yourself nor suffer anyone else to speak to them, unless by order of the court." I got sworn in with those words literally hundreds of times and kept the oath. One, because there's absolutely no upside to breaking it. And because jobs are on the line. Anyone interfering with a deliberating jury is committing career suicide, even if it's a shoplifting case. Why would anyone want to risk their job and pension when it's the most talked about Massachusetts trial of our lifetimes? 

But today, we got some confirmation the people making uneducated guesses were right when the jury was brought into the courtroom:


Body language is everything. Crying jurors don't lie.

So this hammer drops in the middle of yet another few days of insanity. And this circus had enough bizarre subplots for a thousand criminal trials. From allegations the defendant is boning one of her lawyers:

A scene right out of The Fugitive:

And something we hadn't witnessed before, protests in favor of the prosecution:

The Alberts and McCabes getting police protection at a private party while awaiting a verdict:


And on a personal note, the longest thing anyone has ever said about me:

Seriously, I hope my obituary is this long. I know for sure it will have just as many insults. Just spell my last name right, if you don't mind. 

All of which leaves us here:

Giphy Images.

This is the worst possible, least satisfying outcome. By which I mean, no outcome at all. To use my 1,000th sports metaphor, we went to practices, preseason games, an entire regular season, the playoffs, and got to the Super Bowl. Only to have it end in a tie. 

And the only solution is to go back to the first day of OTAs and start over. Or not. The Commonwealth will most likely decide to go back to Square One. Start the prosecution over. Summon a fresh pool of jurors, and proceed as if this never happened. Good luck finding a group of Massholes in Norfolk County who aren't intimately familiar with this trial and who haven't formed very strong opinions. But I suppose there are sentient adults unaware enough of this matter to sit in judgement of Commmoweath v. Karen Read 2: The Retrial. We'll probably find out.

I mean, there's always the possibility they'll drop the charges. But at the center of this, as I keep trying to remind you and myself, is a Police Officer who served with distinction before losing his life in the cold outside a fellow officer's house. I don't see how you can just walk away from that, which means you're letting someone - whomever that may be - get away with murder. We'll soon find out.

I'll just end with this. It's going to be super easy in the unsatisfying frustration of all this, to drag the jurors through the mud. But I'm going to suggest you don't. Sure, at least one of them heard the same evidence you did and came to a completely different conclusion than yours. But try to keep in mind, they didn't sign up for this. Like John Rambo, we asked them, they didn't ask us. My experience has been that 100% of them take their duty seriously. They might not want to have been selected, but they do have reverence for the process. No one's halfassing it. It's grim responsibility, and they try to do their due diligence. 


And you can scream about how awful the system is and demand it be changed. But that's ignoring a few facts. One, that it's still the best criminal justice system ever devised by mankind. Two, it's built around your rights being protected the same as anyone elses, and we're all one bad break away from being a defendant or a victim. And three, the system is only as good as the people who get picked for a jury. All human beings are flawed. And a lot imbeciles get summoned for jury duty too. It only takes one. 

These posts have been a ton of work. And I very much appreciate all the feedback I've been getting. We'll see where this goes from here. And like I've been saying from the beginning: Stay tuned.