Murdaugh trial: Quick verdict is passionate verdict, Cuomo says

(NewsNation) — A jury quickly found Alex Murdaugh guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul.

After sitting through a six-week trial, the jury deliberated Thursday for less than three hours before returning their guilty verdict at around 6:41 ET against the disgraced South Carolina attorney.

While making their decision, the jury had time to consider testimony from 75 witnesses and review 800 documents, images, videos and other exhibits.

Some were shocked with the fast verdict in the high-profile case, while others were not surprised. NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo says it boils down to the jury being passionate about justice.

“A fast verdict is not necessarily, and I’ve looked at a lot of studies on this, it doesn’t really indicate more for the prosecution or more for the defense, it’s about passion,” Cuomo said during a conversation with “On Balance” host Leland Vittert.

Cuomo added: “A quick verdict is a passionate verdict and that’s what it wound up being in this case.”

NewsNation host Dan Abrams says the timing of deliberations shows it clearly wasn’t a close call for the jury.

“This is one of the fastest high-profile murder verdicts I’ve ever seen,” Abrams said. “The O.J. Simpson verdict, which you may have just heard about, was stunning because it came back in just under four hours. This one came back in under three.”

In a news conference after the verdict was read, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the prosecution was able to “bring justice and be a voice for Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.”

“Today’s verdict proved that no one — no matter who you are in society — is above the law,” he added.

After hearing the verdict, the defense tried to have a mistrial declared, which was denied by Judge Clifton Newman.

“The jury has now considered the evidence for a significant period of time, and the evidence of guilt is overwhelming,” Newman said.

Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison without parole for each murder charge. A sentencing hearing has been set for 9:30 a.m. ET Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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