In this case, the judge did over-ride the jury’s verdict. I still don’t get how a judge can just decide that the jury is wrong in the deliberation. I guess for something like a gun enhancement, the line is blurry whether a judge has authority to overturn a verdict.
The judge heard two defense motion: one for a new trial and a separate motion to dismiss the gun-enhancement charge imposed by the jury. The involuntary manslaughter conviction carries a maximum of four years in prison, while the gun enhancement charge could add another 10 years to the sentence.
The defense argued that jurors were not told that a gun enhancement could only be applied if they believed that Mehserle used the weapon with intent. Perry said he was troubled that jurors may have been confused and incorrectly applied that enhancement.
He also signaled that he was unlikely to grant a new trial. The defense argued that new evidence–a previous case of an officer who used a Taser instead of his gun–would have been valuable evidence on Mehserle’s behalf. But Perry said there had been sufficient evidence for the defense’s case and was inclined not to allow their motion.