THE CHARLESTON CITY PAPER, 7 DECEMBER 2016, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON:
Judy Scott leaned into her husband, a bright red sweater pulled over her shoulders, as Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial in the case against the man who shot her son. After more than 22 hours of deliberations, the final word from the jury would come in the form of a brief letter, which Newman read aloud to a packed courtroom at 3:33 p.m. Monday afternoon. With a mention of regret, the jury had written to inform the court that despite their best efforts, they were unable to come to a unanimous decision regarding the guilt or innocence of Michael Slager, the former North Charleston officer charged with the death of Walter Scott. Summoning the jury for a final time, Judge Newman acknowledged the difficult task placed before the jurors. The son of a reverend, Judge Newman was inspired to pursue a career in law after playing the role of an attorney in a high school play based on the 1954 desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education. Elected circuit court judge in 2000, he told the jury that this was the longest deliberation of his career.