After six weeks of testimony, Johnny Depp-Amber Hard’s defamation trial jury heard the closing arguments Friday.
Discussions began soon after, and some observers predicted that the seven-member jury would return with a verdict on the same day.
For the most part, this prediction was made by Depp supporters.
From the beginning of the trial, legal experts were of the opinion that a long discussion would be bad for Depp and good for Hard.
So as the afternoon of the second full day of discussion enters, the Alpaca team is becoming concerned about what this long-running reflection and debate could mean for Team Depp.
Speaking to Yahoo News, Los Angeles Attorney Chris Melcher warned that it was too early to reach a conclusion.
“Court observers have made up their minds and some do not understand why the jury did not immediately return a verdict to the party of their choice. It does not work that way,” Chris Melcher told the outlet.
“Juries have spent six weeks hearing contradictory evidence. They must weigh that evidence and determine who is telling the truth,” he continued.
“Then they must find out what the jury’s instructions mean, a statement of law that is easily understood by lawyers but none of the jurors are lawyers,” Melcher said.
“Under Virginia law, the judgment must be unanimous, which means the seven judges must agree on multiple questions. It is difficult for the seven to agree on any issue. It will take time to get it right.”
Attorney Ratchel Fischer echoed Melcher’s remarks, telling Yahoo that verification during jury negotiations could rarely be profitable.
“Since the trial lasted more than six weeks and the various components and damages are fairly complex, it does not give us a window into what they are thinking so far during the negotiations,” Fiss said.
So far, the jury has submitted only one question to the judge, and, of course, the Internet is dissecting the question in search of insights into the jury’s thought process.
The question was related to the headline of a 2018 Washington Post article where Hard identified himself as a victim of domestic violence.
Depp Hard is suing for $ 50 million, alleging that the part is full of lies and has caused irreparable damage to his career.
“Amber Hard: I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. That needs to change,” was the headline of the part.
On Tuesday, the jury asked the judge whether they should consider the statement from themselves, or whether it should only be seen in context with the rest.
“Johnny Depp claims that certain parts of his 2018 Upper-Aid are false. Those paragraphs were identified for the jury and they must decide whether each statement is false. One of the alleged defamatory statements is the title of Amber’s Upper-Aid article.” Melcher says.
“The jury asked if they would know whether the title was a false statement about Johnny or whether they should consider the whole article to be false. The judge replied that they were only asked if, in this case, the title was false,” he continued. .
“This indicates that the jury is taking their work seriously. They cannot answer the question on the form until it is clear what they are asking.”
Hard’s legal team insisted he did not write the title, and many took the jury’s question as a sign that they were ignoring the warning, which could be a good sign for Depp.
But again, Melcher warns that no one will know what the jury is thinking until the trial is over and the seven Virginians are allowed to speak to the media.
“The jury is unexpected,” Melcher said.
“Trying to figure out who they might be leaning towards by their questions or facial expressions during the trial is like reading a tea leaf.”
We will have more updates on this evolving story as new information becomes available.