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Phil Spector's jury: hanging around

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After seven days of deliberation, word came from the Phil Spector jury today that they were deadlocked. But the judge isn't ready to let them go yet.

Turns out the jury is hung 7 to 5. Either 5 people are saying that reasonable doubt exists that Spector didn't shoot Lana Clarkson, or 7 are. That's more doubt than many courtwatchers had expected.

The judge asked the jurors if anything else might convince them to change their vote -- 3 said yes, tentatively, and seemed to focus on the question of doubt. So tomorrow they'll get to hear a couple of definitions again, but since they've had 'em all along, chances are that won't change things.

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There is a big change, tho: Judge Fidler may have found precedent for allowing the jury to consider manslaughter in trying to reach a verdict, which hasn't previously been an option. That could very well alter the votes of the jurors. But it would also mean more lawyering on both sides pertaining to the count. CourtTV tells us it'll probably just be new summations, and they seem to know this stuff. If that happens, and the rest of the trial is any indication, they won't finish up this week.

What does all this mean? Legal implications of adding in that manslaughter count aside, it's all about the hanging. Hung jury = mistrial. And if that happens, the DA would have to try the case all over again, if they decide to give it another go. Given that the defense didn't seem to do a fantastic job on this go round, who knows what chance another prosecution might have.

Phil Spector's theme song today? Just Once In My Life .

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