Newspaper that inspires change. Breaking stories that shake the world. Be informed, Don't Settle for Fake News.

feat shape 1
feat shape 2
feat shape 3

Expert analyzes the YNW Melly mistrial verdict: Is this a rare occurrence? What are the next steps?

Rapper Melly's murder trial ends in a hung jury after three days of deliberation.

In a surprising turn of events, a Broward jury took only three days to reach an impasse in the case of rapper Melly, who is accused of murdering his two childhood friends over four years ago. While this may seem like a quick decision, Craig Trocino, the director of the University of Miami Law's Innocence Clinic, explains that it is not as straightforward as it appears.

On Saturday, Broward Circuit Judge John Murphy declared a mistrial after it was confirmed that the jury was deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The jury began deliberations on Thursday, which may seem like a short amount of time considering the length of the case, but Trocino assures that the jury fulfilled their duty to the fullest extent.

"They carefully considered the evidence, weighed all the facts, and engaged in extensive discussions among themselves," Trocino explained. "They continued to vote and deliberate, but ultimately remained divided. This is a common occurrence in a hung jury."

Trocino, who has extensive experience working with death sentenced inmates and handling direct appeals, cautions against comparing hung juries, especially in high-profile cases involving famous defendants. He believes that these cases often have unique circumstances that make them unreliable indicators of the normal criminal justice system.

"It's important to remember that juries develop their own dynamics. What may be common in one jury may not be in another," Trocino stated. "Certainly, there were members of this jury who did not believe the state had proven its case."

Melly, whose real name is Jamell Demons, is accused of fatally shooting his childhood friends, Anthony Williams and Christopher Thomas Jr., in a drive-by incident following a night at a recording studio in Fort Lauderdale. Williams and Thomas, both aspiring rappers associated with the YNW collective, were known as YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy, respectively.

It is worth noting that a mistrial does not imply Melly's innocence or freedom from the charges. The Broward County State Attorney's Office has announced that they will be retrying Melly on the double murder charges.

Trocino anticipates that the new trial will bring some interesting changes and potentially less tension. Both sides now have insight into each other's strategies, allowing for modifications and adjustments. Additionally, Melly will face an entirely new jury, which will introduce new perspectives and interpretations of the evidence.

"It will be a completely different experience in the new trial. We will have 12 distinct personalities hearing slightly different evidence presented in a different manner," Trocino explained.

However, Trocino emphasizes that the mistrial does not provide any guarantees for the outcome of the retrial. Each jury is unique, and a different group of individuals may reach a different verdict.

"It is important not to draw any conclusions beyond the fact that this particular jury was deadlocked, as a different group of 12 people could have rendered a not guilty or guilty verdict," Trocino concluded.

Share With Others

Comments on Expert analyzes the YNW Melly mistrial verdict: Is this a rare occurrence? What are the next steps?