The Phil Spector Trial: We Watch Court TV So You Don't Have To (09/21)

WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY? Deliberations, that's what happened. Granted, there were only forty minutes of deliberations, but after forty-eight hours of being at a standstill, the jury finally reconvened to try to arrive at a unanimous verdict in the Phil Spector murder trial. The majority of the day involved Judge Fidler, the prosecution and Spector's all-star defense team trying to come to terms with the termination of "Special Instruction 3." Despite the defense's arguments that it should remain (it made the burden of proof more difficult for the prosecution), Judge Fidler ultimately decided to banish the instruction in an effort to get the jury back to deliberations. "Treat it as if you had never heard of it," Fidler told the jury, before simplifying their decision-making by saying to convict if you think "the defendant committed an act with a firearm that caused the death of Lana Clarkson." By the time all this jargon got ironed out, it was 3:15 PM LA time, and by 4, the day was done.

IS THIS GOOD OR BAD FOR SPECTOR? While the possibility of a hung jury is still a reality, this new instruction makes things easier for the prosecution's case. Out is the murky, paradoxical language of Special Instruction 3, in is the "Convict if you think he killed her" order. It also doesn't help Spector that, according to an unsubstantiated report in a New York newspaper, the 7-5 split leaned towards "Guilty."