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Criminal Defense

The Hoytzclaw Case

By December 8, 2015November 14th, 2023No Comments

Many people have watched and are waiting for the verdict in the nationally publicized case of an Oklahoma City police officer, Hoytzclaw, charges with multiple counts sounding rape and sexual assault while he was on duty. I have received a number of questions so let me try to answer them here.

The jury is charged with the duty to deliberate each and every count that is presented. They are told, by the judge, in jury instructions, that they must consider each count seperatly and not return a sweeping verdict. This means, each of counts must be voted on and a decision must be rendered unanimously (all 12 jurors must agree) either 1) guilty or 2) not guilty.

Many have asked is it an all or nothing case. The answer is simply No. Holtzclaw could be convicted of all counts, some counts, or no counts.

Finally, Oklahoma is one of only a few states that require the jury to set punishment. So, if they convict him unanimously on a count, the jury must then deliberate on the punishment for each count. Final sentencing will be decided by the judge; meaning if the counts run concurrently (at the same time), or consecutively (one after the other) will be decided by the judge at formal sentencing in the future.

With a case that has taken several weeks to put on, we should expect a good and fair jury to take quite some time sorting through the evidence related to each count. A swift decision would not be fair or just to either side. Patience is important because despite your personal feelings about this case, the jury owes it to both sides to be fair and deliberate in its decision.