On 2/23/2016, David Cao, an attorney in Houston Texas, sent a letter to Brooklyn DA Thompson.
In the letter, Mr. Cao said: "To me, it is very likely a mistrial occurred. I respectfully urge that you look into this matter and request the Court to overturn the verdict if you agree the jury committed an error."
The following is the copy of the letter:
Dear Mr. Thompson,
My name is David Cao. I am an attorney in Houston Texas. I read and watched the media interview of juror Carlton Screen after the Peter Liang verdict. If the verdict had been reached as Screen described, I believe there had been a gross error with the jury, and injustice would occur unless the verdict be overturned. Here’s why:
According to Screen, all the jurors tried the pistol’s trigger, and decided that “it was too hard to pull.” Mr. Screen told the media, “It was 10 to two for conviction, but the two were a little bit doubtful,” but after the jurors tried the pistol one by one, all agreed that officer Liang had been guilty.
The jurors’ testing of officer Liang’s service pistol was obviously instrumental to his conviction.
Whether the trigger was “too hard to pull” for officer Liang on November 20, 2014, under the conditions in the stairwell in the Pink House, should be determined by the jury with the help of expert witnesses, including at least physiologists and firearm experts, taking into consideration of Liang’s physical strength at the time, his prior training with that pistol, especially how many rounds he had fired through it, his muscle memory, the impact of his psychological condition in the allegedly dangerous stairwell, etc. It should not be determined by jurors using their own lay-person fingers, in a courtroom that was completely different from the Pink House stairwell. Further, according to the Screen interview report, most jurors had never held a gun.
To me, it is very likely a mistrial occurred. I respectfully urge that you look into this matter and request the Court to overturn the verdict if you agree the jury committed an error.
Fairness to the defendant is the bedrock of America’s criminal justice system. The government would not hesitate to do the right thing to the defendant. Five years ago, in People of New York against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the New York assistant district attorneys, upon finding their sole eyewitness, the complainant, had credibility problems, motioned to dismiss their own case, stating “If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so.” (see page 2, motion to dismiss, attached.) In 2009, after senator Ted Stevens had been convicted on seven felony counts of ethics violations, the Justice Department found that the federal prosecutors had failed to provide certain information to the defendant to use at trial. It might not even have been a harmful error, but the Attorney General righteously declared to dismiss the indictment and not to proceed with a new trial. (Statement and source attached.) I believe you will follow their example if there was any error in the process of officer Liang’s conviction.