Temple Massacre Retrial Ends in Mistrial

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Brian Turner via Flickr

A mistrial was declared in the retrial of Johnathan Doody, who's been accused of massacring nine people at a Buddhist temple more than 20 years ago.

Jurors had been deliberating for nearly two weeks in the retrial, which came about the conviction was overturned in federal court several years ago, on the grounds that police coerced a confession out of Doody after the 1991 murders, when he was 17 years old.

See also:
-The Thai Connection
-Dealing With a Confessed Serial Killer

Doody and another teenager were convicted of murdering six Buddhist monks, a nun, and two apprentice monks at the Wat Promkunaram Temple in Waddell, which is on the western edge of civilization in the Valley.

Although a coerced confessional might seem like a tired technicality to some, consider this: Before Doody and his pal were arrested in the murders, Maricopa County sheriff's detectives arrested four innocent men -- the "Tucson four" -- in the case, after coercing confessions out of them.

Still, Doody will go to trial in the case yet again. A court spokesman says the next court date is a status conference on Halloween.

According to an Associated Press account, there was one juror was refusing to deliberate in the case after making up her mind, leading to the mistrial.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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It's been said that a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich. Many people will vote to convict a ham sandwich, as well. Absent the original confession, the case was weak. Sounds like one juror, and only one, got that. She wouldn't be badgered into changing her vote? Good for her. 

God help the jury foreman if I ever get on a similar jury, since I believe in the old maxim that it's better to let ten guilty men go free than convict an innocent man. These days most people seem to believe just the opposite: a few innocent people getting railroad is the price we pay for living in our fascist utopia.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Ooooooh. Bad cops. Coercing a confession out of a juvenile, who I assumed did not have representation and was not properly Mirandized, is not Kosher. Now, does anyone know what it meant that a juror (I think it's a she) wouldn't "participate" in deliberations. One report said that she had "made up her mind." How does that make a hung jury? So she made up her mind. She said that after the case was handed to the jury. What gives? Defense attorneys? What say you?

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