June Jury Sets Guilty Man Free Who was Then Stabbed to Death (CA Penal Code 187)

June Jury Sets Guilty Man Free Who was Then Stabbed to Death (CA Penal Code 187)

Rabin Nabizadeh
June 12, 2014

In what can only be described as an unprecedented occurrence, a jury in Fresno signed the wrong paperwork (a ‘not guilty’ form as opposed to the proper ‘guilty’ form) after deliberating in a burglary case against 37-year-old Bobby Lee Pearson and 31-year-old Terrel Minnieweather.  Minnieweather was found guilty, but due to the debacle, Pearson was released.  The irony is that a person or persons unknown, Pearson was stabbed to death the very next morning (CA Penal Code 187).  Legal pundits are blaming the mix-up on a “June jury,” meaning the kind of jury that is comprised of mainly college students who have, up until the summer months, managed to delay jury duty until the end of the school year.

Minnieweather, as convicted, could end up spending anywhere from 30 years to life in state prison (mainly due to his criminal history), while Pearson won the day with a technicality.  The interesting legal question concerns, not how the jury handled the case or was misinformed, nor that a potentially guilty man went free.  Instead, the most fascinating part of this case is that Pearson could not have been tried again had he lived.  Due to the way that the justice system operates, a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice, this is what is known commonly as ‘double jeopardy.’  When a person has been tried once for a crime, they cannot be tried again for the same offense.  Lucky for Pearson, this was the case.  Not so lucky for Pearson, he met with foul play even after having been released.

 

latest news

April 7, 2022
What Can I Expect After Being Arrested for a DUI in California?
A DUI charge is a severe criminal offense in California. DUI arrests take away a massive part of your driving privilege and could tarnish your reputation. Prior DUI convictions can inflict further damage to your career opportunities, driving rights, and immigration status. This blog will go over what you must expect when facing DUI charges. [...]
April 7, 2022
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California?
DUI cases may stay on your criminal record forever. The United States sees DUI as a serious traffic crime punishable with grave penalties. Fighting your way through a DUI case is a challenging task. But, it doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. There are legal options available for you, depending on the nature [...]
April 6, 2022
Arrested for DUI in California: Am I Going to Lose My Job?
You've been charged with a DUI and have no idea what to do next. A lot of worries may run through your mind, including the fear of losing your job. Many aspects of a DUI charge can be overwhelming to a person, even to those familiar with California Law. In this blog, we will discuss [...]