Menendez Brothers' First Murder Trial Ends without Verdict: Part 9

After deliberating for 25 days, the jury was hopelessly deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict.
5:25 | 01/06/17

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Transcript for Menendez Brothers' First Murder Trial Ends without Verdict: Part 9
"Truth and lies" continues. The whole abuse excuse was a lie. I don't think children kill their parents willy-nilly. I just wanted it to stop. This was their tale. It didn't ring true. I compare a closing argument in a high profile case to game seven of the world series. There's an electricity that's literally floating in the air. It is unbelievably exciting. The sexual abuse is to portray these people as monsters. So that you will not care that they were dead. You heard about some of the things that he liked to do to his little boy. This is not a hard case at all. This is what happened. These two people were sitting there, watching television, and they got slaughtered by their sons. And one of them was to stick tacks, like this, in his thighs and in his butt. At the end of the day, this trial came down to -- did you believe them? I remember thinking, he's either the best actor in the world, or this is a true story. These two terrorist parents built two bombs that blew up and killed them. It became like a rorschach test. You looked at Lyle Menendez, Erik Menendez, you either saw cynical, sinister, vicious killers or you saw victims. I mean, this is a jury trial. It's only going to take one juror to hang this up. Can we get all 12? The court declares a mistrial, and that completes this hearing. Jurors have told the jury they are unable to reach a verdict. Hopelessly deadlocked. The seven women, five men panel sat through six months of trial, deliberated for 25 days. The general public was screaming on talk radio, they said, "The brothers admitted they did it. What's wrong with those jurors? What's wrong with this judge? Why couldn't they get a conviction?" We are going to be trying the case a second time. Round two, second time around with this case, it was a different ball game for a lot of reasons. Number one, the judge banned cameras in the courtroom. And the judge, to some degree, said, certain defense evidence, I'm just not going to allow it. So, he reversed all his evidence rulings, and the jurors never heard anything about the family history, and several jurors that I interviewed after the second trial told me, if they had heard that family history, they never would have voted for murder. The O.J. Simpson trial was going on at the same time as the second Menendez trial. And when O.J. Similar P sop wpson was acquitted, to the shock and horror of white Los Angeles, I thought it brought tremendous law and order pressure on jurors right across the spectrum. We can't have another ridiculous verdict. There were a lot of people who donated their time and their expertise for free to the retrial in the Menendez case, because people were so outraged at the jury hanging. At the end of the first trial, the Menendez family was broke. And in the second trial, both the brothers had their attorneys' fees paid for by the people of the state of California. I knew they were going to get convicted the second time around because of the outrage around the first trial. I thought, look, good luck getting away with it now. Lyle and Erik Menendez have been found guilty of murdering their parents. It took a second trial for the two to be convicted of murder in the first degree. The brothers barely reacted. Both slumped a little. Erik looked at a relative to say it will be okay and exchanged looks with his brother. We believe that most people in this county, perhaps even in this country, now believe that there was justice in this case. I thought that justice had been done in a legal sense, because I do think that they, obviously, they killed their parents, and they failed to prove that they were in fear for their lives and therefore justified in doing so. But I thought that the fact that they'd become laughing stocks around their claim of sexual abuse was an injustice, a more injustice. What went through your minds when you heard that verdict? First-degree murder, guilty. That I was going to spend the rest of my life in prison without any possibility of ever getting released. It could have been death. Did you think that? That was the second phase, whether it was going to be life or death, and I was terrified. Some people might say, "They should be punished as much as possible." What do you say to that? We will spend the rest of our life in prison. It can be an extremely cruel existence, or it can be one where you try to find meaning to the things that have happened. But if I'm not -- if I'm not -- if we're not put in the same prison, there's a good probability I will never see him again. And -- and that -- that I -- there's some things that you cannot take and there's some things that you can endure. With everything taken away, it would be the last thing, you know, it's the last thing you can take, and that would be very, very difficult to live

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