Charlottesville Solidarity Civil Trial Correct Tuesday: Third day of deliberation begins

On Monday, the 12-member panel asked U.S. Judge Norman Moon if they would need to agree on each final count if they could not reach a unanimous decision on the first three, regarding conspiracy claims.

Two of the charges – five and six – relate only to the actions of James Alex Fields Jr., who rammed his car into a crowd of protesters, killing one person and injuring dozens. The other is related to the status of racial, religious or ethnic violence or harassment.

When the jury was out, the judge said, “I don’t know why there’s been a misunderstanding about that. I think I’ll tell them that they have to keep trying to reach a unanimous decision on all of that. six crimes.”

The jury will decide at each count whether each defendant is liable for damages. In a civil trial, plaintiffs’ attorneys must prove the defendant is liable by “evidence superiority,” Moon told jurors, which means 50.1% or more. than the chances of the claim being true.

Among other questions the jury posed was a question about whether the wording was synonymous with violence. Attorneys for plaintiff and defendant argued the matter without a jury present, with attorneys defending the First Amendment Defended arguments.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys suggested moving the panel back to jury instructions.

Monday is the second day of jury deliberation and ends around 5 p.m. ET. Court continues on Tuesday at 9 a.m

The plan to remove the statue sparked the protests

NS Unite the right rally were held on August 11 and 12, 2017, to protest against plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. When violence takes place, it reaches a climax when Field – who was protesting the removal of the statue – drove his car into a crowd of protesters, killing the 32-year-old man Heather Heyer.

Fourteen people and 10 white nationalist and extremist organizations are listed as defendants in the civil action.

The Unite the Right trial is exposing the gap between who planned the wars of white nationalism and who carried out the wars.

The plaintiffs, including town residents and protesters injured in the clashes, are seeking statutory damages and damages for the physical and emotional injuries they suffered. due to violence at the protest. They also protested that the organizers of the protest participated in a plot and planned violence to incite a religious and racial war.

Defense attorneys and the two senior defendants who are representing them argue that none of the plaintiffs can prove the defendants committed acts of organized racial violence.

Close argument conclude Thursday. The jurors received 77 pages of final instructions and sentencing forms Friday morning and began deliberations.
The following & # 39;  look back at what led to Charlottesville & # 39;  Solidarity Right & # 39;  civil trial

To succeed in a master conspiracy claim, plaintiffs must prove the existence of a conspiracy involving two or more people, according to instructions given to jurors.

In addition, the plaintiffs must prove the conspiracy was motivated in part by “animus” against Black or Jewish people or because the plaintiffs supported those communities and the conspiracy was intended to deprive them of their right to be free from prosecution. violence due to their race, grand jury instructions said.

Ultimately, plaintiffs must prove at least one person in the conspiracy has “performed an overt act” in perpetuating racial violence and that the plaintiffs were injured as a result of that conduct, according to the guidelines.

According to one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, Roberta Kaplan said the plaintiffs hit by Fields’ vehicle are seeking $7 to $10 million in damages while others are claiming $3 to $10 million in damages. 5 million dollars.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys say the defendants are seeking to fight

4 cases converging to test America's justice

A strong team of attorneys under the umbrella of the nonprofit Integrity First for America are representing the plaintiffs in their civil cases.

During the closing argument, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs told the jury that the defendants had been preparing for the “Battle of Charlottesville” and that the messages sent between them and their actions in the wake of the violence. force is evidence of a conspiracy.

Attorneys have displayed texts, messages on an online platform called Discord, and even Facebook Messenger, to show that organizers don’t just want protesters, who they call protesters. Opponent or communist, appeared, but they also wanted a brawl. Organizers wanted the fight so much, they even tried to troll the protesters in the hope that they would deliver the first punch, the lawyers said.

Defense says no evidence of conspiracy

Defense attorneys and two senior defendants who are representing them argue that no plaintiff has proven that the defendants committed acts of organized racial violence.

“Plaintiffs must prove an agreement. Agreement is not a virus that can be transmitted through a protest,” said attorney Bryan Jones, who represents the three defendants.

The defendants spent the entire trial making the argument that not only did they not know each other, but that they only implemented security measures in case they were subjected to an antifa attack. The defendants also stated that their hate speech was nothing more than colorless jokes and should not be taken seriously.

CNN’s Mark Morales reports from Charlottesville and Steve Almasy reports and writes in Atlanta. CNN’s Aya Elamroussi and Amir Vera contributed to this report.


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