A jury is currently being set for the retrial of Dayonte Resiles murder case in Florida. This is the second time the jury selection is taking place after the judge declared it a mistrial based on race, back in December 2021.
A panel of jurors initially all agreed that Dayonte Resiles stabbed 59-year-old Jill Halliburton Su in a home invasion during a robbery in 2014. Her son, Justin Su found her body with her hands and legs bound in a bloody bathtub. However, instead of agreeing to a first-degree murder conviction as it should be when a charge is proved, the jurors came down to manslaughter charge because “I don’t want to send a young Black male to jail for the rest of their life or have him get the death sentence,”
However, when returning to the courtroom to confirm the decision after deliberations the forewoman, a 36-year-old half Puerto-Rican woman, had completely changed her mind, her statement baffled people around the courtroom as she said, “were just cheering and patting him on the back, like he graduated high school or made a winning touch down at a football game. I thought, what have I done? Is this the world I am creating for my children, a world where someone can get away with murder because of the color of their skin?”
The judge even sent her and other jurors to deliberate once again, but she seemed to have made her mind on the injustice of difference in prosecution based on race. “You guys keep saying ‘a young Black man,’ but I don’t see race,” she said, “I just see a human being, and you know, one particular person said to me, ‘Hey, if you were outside this courtroom, you would have gotten smacked out in the street for this,”
Two black jurors among the group even accused her of being racist, but she stood her ground. Later she told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “If it was my brother who was accused and the same set of facts was presented, I could have voted guilty of first-degree murder. That’s what the evidence showed. It’s not a racial thing. It’s a crime. He is the killer. I don’t care what race he is.”
If finally convicted for first-degree murder, Dayonte Resiles can get the death penalty.