By Terry Best / San Diegans for Safe Access
San Diego, CA – On Thursday, June 27, 2013, legal cannabis patient and defendant Tim O’Shea’s jury came out of deliberations hopelessly deadlocked in a three guilty; nine not guilty split and Judge Charles Rogers declared a mistrial.
Defense Counsel, Mark Bluemel, immediately gave an oral motion to dismiss the case in the interest of justice, which the judge delayed hearing arguments on until today, July 1, 2013. His reasoning was to allow the District Attorney’s office time to decide if they would re-file against Tim, which is their right in cases of deadlocked juries.
Deborah La Touche, the prosecutor in this case told the judge today that after speaking with two department heads, they would re-file the case against Tim due to the “strong indicia of sales” in the case.
The judge encouraged Mark Bluemel to submit to the court, indicating he did not need to hear Mr. Bluemel argue his motion. One could speculate that Judge Roger’s had made up his mind. However, it was a very tense time as we listened to his honor. Here is what he had to say: He felt another trial, of course, would be burdensome to Tim O’Shea and explored the possible purposes a new trail might serve. One purpose would be for a resulting punishment in the case which did not seem appropriate to the judge. The preservation of public safety was another possible outcome and his honor did not find that applicable either. Further, Judge Rogers could not find any valuable purpose for re-trying Tim and felt Tim had not broken the spirit of the Compassionate Use Act or the Medical Marijuana Program Act.
Further, the judge reminded La Touche that her case was NOT one of 7,800 grams of medical cannabis but was, without the stalks, a mere couple hundred grams.
Judge Roger’s pointed to the fact that three quarters of the jury had voted not guilty, and he himself did not think it was a strong case for sales therefore he doubted a unanimous guilty verdict would ever be reached against Tim. Judge Roger’s granted with prejudice Mark Bluemel’s motion to dismiss in the interest of justice the people’s case against Tim O’Shea, thereby ending District Attorney and failed Mayoral candidate, Bonnie Dumanis’ torture of this kind-hearted citizen.
I had the privilege of speaking a full hour with another juror (I had already spoken with one directly after Thursday’s deadlock and reported on that previously in my 8th day update) who called me over the weekend. She told me the entire jury felt very sad for Tim. They did not understand why the police would exaggerate evidence and many felt angry the case was prosecuted since there was no egregious behavior, no selling to kids or blatant misuse of the CUA or MMPA.
None of the jurors had a problem with marijuana and felt it would be legalized soon and all of this would be a moot point. They were angry that eight days of their time and public employee time had been wasted prosecuting this case.
The jury’s opinion and then Judge Roger’s decision to stop further prosecution of Tim reflect what the People want much better than the very office sworn to represent those People; proving the courts indeed provide the checks and balances in answer to the injustice and tyranny of our elected District Attorney.
It is uncommon for judges to dismiss and thwart the DA’s office as Judge Roger’s did. Some do not even do this in hung jurors of a split even more in the favor of not guilty then this one; a big thank you to this fair and forward-thinking judge.
It is a great day for patients today!