Trump’s hush money trial jury is deliberating a verdict. Here’s what they could decide. – MSNBC

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Now that closing arguments are done and the jury is instructed on the law, deliberations have begun in the historic criminal case of People v. Donald Trump. The natural question on everyone’s mind is whether he’ll be convicted or acquitted. But while a simple verdict is possible, it’s not guaranteed.

Here’s a brief rundown of the options, with the caveats that we don’t know what will happen or how long it will take.  

Straight guilty verdict

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Each count corresponds to a particular record — invoices, vouchers, checks — and the jury decides each count separately. Trump, who has pleaded not guilty, will be convicted on all counts if the jury agrees unanimously that the prosecution has proved each instance beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Mixed verdict

Another option is that the jury convicts on some counts but not others. Trump will be acquitted on any individual count of the 34 if all 12 jurors agree that the prosecution failed to prove that count beyond a reasonable doubt. Or, if the jury can’t decide them, it will be a hung jury on those counts.


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Hung jury

The jury could also hang on all counts if it’s unable to decide any of them. A hung jury wouldn’t end the case. Legally, it puts the parties back where they started before trial, meaning that we could hypothetically go through this whole thing again if Manhattan prosecutors want to retry the case.

Straight acquittal

While seemingly the least likely option, it’s possible that the jury fully acquits Trump on all counts. That would end the case. Though defendants can appeal convictions, prosecutors can’t appeal acquittals. It would not, however, end Trump’s legal jeopardy, as he has three other, unrelated state and federal indictments pending, to which he has likewise pleaded not guilty.

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