Letter: Dogged devotion to Trump raises the prospect of a hung jury, which undermines our justice system

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, people march with those who say they are members of the Proud Boys as they attend a rally in Washington in support of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Former President Donald Trump is currently facing being potentially charged with numerous criminal and civil violations of law.

The dilemma is the unlikely result of a guilty verdict by a jury of his peers even if the evidence against him is overwhelming. That’s due to our current system of justice requiring a unanimous verdict. A single dissenting juror can result in a hung jury and a mistrial.

This kind of bothersome scenario is likely because the chance of one or more Trump supporters not making it onto a jury panel is currently improbable. Although overtly rabid Trump minions have a good chance of being eliminated as a juror by the judge or the prosecution, less obvious devotees are more likely to be impaneled.

Before evaluating my concern as being overblown, consider a Reuters-Ipsos opinion poll released in November that found half of Republicans still believed Trump won the presidential election and 68 percent had concerns about a rigged vote. With all the evidence to the contrary, is it that implausible such jurors involved in future trials would feel fully justified in supporting a Trump claim of innocence even through a preponderance of proof indicated otherwise?

Similarly, involving a similar set of circumstances, it’s reasonable to assume Trump should have been found guilty in both impeachment trials initiated by the Democrats during his presidency. For reasons of dogged devotion and/or fear of political retribution by Trump and his supporters, seriously evaluating the mass of evidence pointing to guilt was the last thing the vast majority of Senate Republicans cared about. Voting against impeachment was set in stone even before the trials commenced.

Raymond A. Hult, Bountiful

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