The longest U.S. jury deliberation in a civil lawsuit took place in a 1992 California trial in which a woman and her son sued the City of Long Beach for preventing the opening of a chain of residential homes for Alzheimer’s patients. The case had a long tail, taking eleven years to get to trial. The jury sat through six months of testimony and then deliberated for four and a half months before reaching a verdict (of $22.5 million to mother and son).
One juror was eliminated after suggesting that the court’s name be changed from the U.S. District Court to the “U.S. Dairy Court” because, as he told fellow jurors, “you guys are milking this thing to death”.
The longest U.S. jury deliberation in a criminal trial involved three former Oakland, California, police officers known as “the Riders,” who were charged with roughing up suspects, planting drugs, and conspiring to obstruct justice. The trial took seven months and included 84 witnesses. The jury instructions were 122 pages in length. They took four months to reach a verdict on eight counts (not guilty) but couldn’t reach a verdict on the other 27 counts. The result: partial mistrial.