A federal jury has returned a partial verdict in a civil case about whether the white nationalist organizers of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville four years ago conspired to commit racially motivated violence that left one person dead and scores injured.
Judge Norman Moon announced Tuesday that the jury considers that it has arrived at a verdict in this case.
The jury was not able to reach a decision on whether the defendants had, under an obscure federal statute, conspired to commit racially motivated violence. It did conclude that they had committed conspiracy under state laws and awarded plaintiffs a total of about $25 million in damages.
The jury sent a note to the court saying that it had deadlocked on the first two claims — the reliance of the case on the "KKK Act," an 1871 statute designed to protect African Americans from the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups — and whether the defendants conspired to commit racially motivated violence.
According to the note from the jury. "We have unanimously decided on claims 3,4,5,6. After reviewing final jury instructions and decided claims 1 and 2 at length, we are deadlocked. We do not believe this will change."
The case centered on leaders of the "alt-right" rally in August 2017, that featured mobs chanting "Jews will not replace us," while encircling counter-protesters on the University of Virginia campus, wielding and in some cases throwing burning tiki torches as they marched.
Nine plaintiffs — made up of current and former Charlottesville residents — were seeking to prove that their constitutional rights were violated when the defendants entered into a conspiracy of racially motivated violence, and they were asking for compensatory and punitive damages for physical and emotional injuries.
In total, 14 individuals and 10 organizations were defendants in the case, including notorious leaders of long-established hate groups.
The jury, which was made up of four women and seven men, deliberated for three days and heard from 36 witnesses over nearly four weeks of testimony.https://www.cbsnews.com/news/charlo...0C4DXieJMlfTJHSTtNBGAtpDrxQqfEk-Q7wdqhEU