What is “Miscarriage of Justice?” Meaning explored Alex Murdaugh defense lawyer breaks silence on verdict

Defense attorney Jim Griffin revealed that the entire team was shocked with the verdict being decided so swiftly, (Image via Surviving The Survivor Podcast/Twitter)
Defense attorney Jim Griffin revealed that the entire team was shocked with the verdict being decided so swiftly, (Image via Surviving The Survivor Podcast/Twitter)

54-year-old Alex Murdaugh was recently given a life sentence after he was found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, in June 2021. After the jury gave their verdict, Murdaugh’s defense attorney Jim Griffin addressed the outcome as a “miscarriage of justice.” The term refers to a situation during a criminal or civil proceeding when a person is unfairly convicted of a crime that they have not committed.

The jury consisted of 11 members, and after around three hours of deliberation, they came up with a guilty verdict in the six-week trial. Griffin expressed concern and questioned the swift decision taken by the jury.

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Defense lawyer Jim Griffin expressed disappointment about the guilty verdict in Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial

The defense team of Alex Murdaugh has finally broken the silence regarding the guilty verdict in the murder trial. The guilty verdict came after around three hours of deliberation. Jim Griffin, Murdaugh's defense attorney, described the verdict as a “miscarriage of justice.”

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “miscarriage of justice” has been defined as “an outcome in a judicial proceeding that is unjust.” Cambridge Dictionary defines the phrase as:

“A situation in which someone is punished by the law courts for a crime that they have not committed.”

Jim Griffin stated that the entire defense team was reportedly “shocked” by the decision. However, they knew that the verdict would sentence Murdaugh guilty after learning that the jury took just three hours to come to a conclusion. Additionally, the defense team has mentioned that they will be filing an appeal to try and overturn the guilty verdict.

Jim Griffin told a news outlet:

“There was six weeks of evidence and there was so little evidence on the actual murders. There’s no murder weapons. There’s no bloody clothes. There’s no motive for the murder. We thought the jury would have to work through a lot of that.”

A member of the jury also revealed that the panel did not even take an hour to consider Alex Murdaugh guilty of murdering Maggie (52) and Paul (22) in June 2021. Jim Griffin further said:

“That’s not a deliberation. That is concerning frankly.”

The defense attorney also stated that Alex Murdaugh’s family members were more convinced after the trial that he was innocent and didn't commit the murders. Upon being asked about Alex Murdaugh taking the stand, Griffin replied:

“Frankly, we had to throw a hail Mary by putting him on the stand, to explain the lie, explain why he cheated, explain why he stole and because of his drug addiction.”

He continued:

“We had hoped that jurors had experience, whether family members or relatives, of how drug addicts lie, cheat, and steal. And they would have an understanding of that. Obviously, that did not work.”

Citing his over three decades experience inside the court, the defense attorney added that how he knew that it's going to be a guilty verdict:

“Because [the verdict] came back so quickly, and doing this for over 30 plus years, that’s normally a sign that it’s a guilty verdict. We were shocked that they did come back so quickly, but having learned that they had a verdict within three hours of going out, we were not surprised when it was read out to the courtroom. We prepared Alex that that's likely what it would be, but to say that we were disappointed would be a tremendous understatement.”

Not just the defense team, but several other observers have also raised questions regarding such swiftness in the verdict. Journalist Farhad Manjoo expressed concern regarding the same and said:

“I have little quarrel with the jury’s decision. But the lightning speed with which it came to its conclusion makes me deeply uncomfortable with how the criminal justice system might deal with all of the digital effluvia being spewed by our devices.”

Throughout the proceedings, Alex Murdaugh stood by his belief that the deaths of his wife and son had something to do with the fatal boat crash in 2019 that killed Mallory Beach.

Murdaugh's defense team will now be filing an appeal in an attempt to overturn the verdict.

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Edited by Priya Majumdar