The jury in the Todd Kinley case took an hour and 15 minutes to reach their decision. Considering the time it takes to pick out a foreperson and fill out two forms, assuming they even looked over the law and jury instructions, they came to this decision in less than 50 to 55 minutes.
The defense did not dispute the facts, they acknowledged guilty on Count 2, drunk in Public. The jury agreed.
Did it make a difference that they started deliberations around 11 on Friday, before a three day weekend? Would it have made any diference if the indecent exposure had been charged as a felony? The jury had 7 men and 5 women, including a social services supervisor.
Most of us, who heard these closing arguments, including another media colleague, were shocked at the jury's decision.
Then again, this is the jury, who chose a foreperson, who wrote not guilty instead of guilty for Count 2 and then yelled in open court, "I am terrible foreperson, that was not our decision." The mistake had to be rectified and the Judge had to ask the jurors if that was, indeed their decision.
What this jury did not see is that after they left, Kinley signed a waiver to his right for a hearing on a second case. Kinley, who has a fugitive, felony warrant out of Montana, was cuffed and taken into custody. He was out of custody for the misdemeanor.
No one is allowed to show emotion while the verdict is being read and court is still in session, but after the verdict of not guilty was read for Count 1, Mr. Luke Brownfield slapped Kinley on the back, congratulating him.
Judge John Feeney, in his concluding instructions, told the jury that the instruction on voluntary intoxication was "offered for a limited purpose." and it was not a defense to public intoxication.
Out of the presence of the jury, Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes won a motion that the defense could not argue memory loss. The judge also ruled that Ms. Barnes could argue in rebuttal, no such evidence was submitted.
If you have read the evidence presented by the People, with hardly any cross examination by Mr. Brownfield and then heard the closing arguments, the only conclusion is that in Humboldt County, you can be drunk with your blood alcohol limit twice the legal limit, the defense does not provide any evidence that you also took prescription pills and smoked weed, you can be jacking off early morning facing traffic on a freeway, cars slow down and brake, an off duty police officer sees your erect penis, you pull your pants up right away when you see a police car, but the jury did not think that the People provided enough evidence that it was Kinley's intention to direct attention to his genitals.
This from a man who gave a false name to the police officer and a false story about why he was masturbating in public.
Glad this jury was not the one to decide a rape or murder charge.