Jurors are so convinced that a Cleveland teen should not have been charged with assaulting another teen that they’ve gone beyond acquitting him. A few are writing angry letters to police and intend to donate their jury pay to him, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. At least three jurors plan to give the $100 they got to sit on the jury to defendant Demrick McCloud, 19, if McCloud earns a high school equivalency degree. They took only 30 minutes to find him not guilty in their deliberations Friday.
Three members jurors complained of a “sheer lack of evidence.” They said the prosecution’s case hinged on the victim identifying McCloud as an attacker. But the victim also had told police he was certain another boy — later found to be in school at the time — was one of the assailants. Last November, the Plain Dealer reported that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason pursued criminal charges against hundreds of people over the last 10 years with little or no evidence against them. Some judges have thrown out cases under a state rule allowing them to acquit a defendant if they believe the evidence is insufficient to convict.