What went wrong?
It will be interesting to hear from the jurors, should they decide to speak to the press, what their reasoning was for the not guilty verdict. Because both officers were found not guilty of all felony charges it would appear that Prosecutors could not causally link, beyond a reasonable doubt, the actions of the officers and the death of 37-year-old homeless man Kelly Thomas.
Defense attorneys went to great lengths refuting the Orange County Coroner’s official cause of death, compression asphyxiation. Numerous defense experts testified that Kelly Thomas actually died from a damaged heart resulting from years of meth abuse. Specifically, doctors pointed to damaged cells in the heart that indicated prior damage. Defense experts also noted that Kelly Thomas was still screaming minutes after both Ramos and Cicinelli had ceased any physical contact with Thomas, suggesting that he still had enough air in his lungs to rule out asphyxiation.
In order to obtain a conviction on murder or manslaughter charges a jury must determine beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of officers Ramos and Cicinelli caused the death of Kelly Thomas. It would appear at first glance that prosecutors did not meet that burden.
Why do you believe the jurors returned a not guilty verdict? Do you agree with it? Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts.
Source: Wild About Trial