Can Deedy get another impartial jury?

Published: Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Now that the murder trial of federal agent Christopher Deedy has been declared a mistrial we wondered with all the attention the case has received if attorneys could seat a fair and impartial jury a second time around. Some of the responses surprised us.

We asked people "Do you know who Christopher Deedy is?"

Some of the responses included, "is he dead?" and "Isn't he like some dude in like the Office?"

No Deedy us not the guy from the TV show although it was a real life drama.

At the Kalihi satellite city hall office 33 people had no clue who Deedy was. Only 10 people did know and they were split on a verdict from what they knew.

"It's close. Here you go Trayvon all over again. It's close," said Chuck Williams, of Kalihi.

"I would have been hung up," said Gordon Moniz, of Honolulu.

Over in Downtown Honolulu it was the opposite. Only 13 people did not have a clue and 30 knew of Deedy.

"What I saw I was hoping for a guilty," said Julie McFarland, of Makiki.

"For me I think he was innocent," said Keilah Chung, of Kalihi.

"I'd say he was probably innocent," said Justin Matsukawa, of Moanalua.

A lot of people didn't know enough about the case to form and opinion. Others thought a lesser charge than murder should have been an option, but it wasn't given to jurors to consider.

"Based on what I heard I think it could have been manslaughter at least," said an unidentified man.

"I thought they should have instructed the jury with a manslaughter instruction. I think he would have been found guilty of that," said another unidentified man.

So can Christopher Deedy get a fair and impartial jury the next trial?

"I couldn't be on that jury because I honestly don't think I could be, you know I already have my mind made up," said McFarland.

"I think sometimes the safest thing to do is move it out of this venue and into and area where both sides can get a fair trial," said Kenneth Lawson, UH Manoa, William S. Richardson School of Law Professor.

Law Professor Kenneth Lawson has tried cases on mainland where white officers killed unarmed black men and says race has to come into question.

"It's the elephant in the room. Nobody wants to talk about it and it's something that has to be talked about with jurors when they're being picked," said Prof. Lawson.

Then again, if a lot of people didn't know who Deedy was the day after the first trial they may not know him for the retrial a year from now.

"The longer you wait the more fair the trial will be," said Steve Albert, of North Shore Oahu.

We spoke with other lawyers who say the retrial will need to have a very large jury pool to choose from likely into the hundreds in order to weed out those who can't be fair.

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