Lac-Megantic trial: Jury at an impasse after 6 days of deliberations
|globalnews.ca 16 Jan 2018 at 12:15|
The jury deliberating the fate of three men accused of criminal negligence causing death in the Lac-Megantic railway disaster told the judge they reached an impasse Tuesday afternoon.
Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre, are all on trial in connection with the July 2013 deadly tragedy when a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Que, killing 47 people.
The three men have pleaded not guilty.
The trial began Oct.2. in Sherbrooke, Que. Jury deliberations began Jan. 11.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas read a letter from the jurors Tuesday afternoon in which they asked him what happens if they can’t reach unanimity. The judge suggested they be sent back to continue deliberations.
The 12 jurors has been deliberating for six days. On Monday, they asked the judge for a dictionary and for clarification on various judicial matters, such as the legal concept of “reasonable doubt.” They were not allowed to use one.
Conviction on a charge of criminal negligence causing death carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Judge is suggesting they be sent back to continue deliberations. They can be told to try again, but if they reach verdicts on some of the accused, but not all, that would be accepted… after a reasonable delay.
All three could have be found guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people, while jurors had the option of convicting Harding on one of two other charges: dangerous operation of railway equipment or dangerous operation of railway equipment causing death.