What Is a Partial Verdict? Paul Manafort Jury Can't Agree on All Charges Against Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight charges Tuesday, on the fourth day of jury deliberations in his case. Jurors could not agree on 10 of the 18 counts against Manafort, resulting in a mistrial for those remaining charges.

The guilty verdicts were for five counts of tax fraud, and three counts relating to campaign contributions and bank fraud. The sentencing hearing has been set for December 12.

The jury asked the judge earlier that day what it meant if they "cannot come to consensus on a single count, what does that mean for the final verdict?"

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis said that it was "not exceptional" and would result in a partial verdict. It was later revealed the jury was deadlocked on 10 charges. After Ellis told them to continue deliberating, the jury said Tuesday afternoon it could only reach an agreement on eight counts.

A partial verdict is when the jurors fail to reach a unanimous consensus on all of the charges. Prosecutors and defense attorneys alike typically view a long jury deliberation as a good sign for the defense. It can often mean members can't reach a decision on guilt. Manafort will essentially be given a second chance on the 10 counts the jury could not agree on by having a retrial. However, a partial verdict does not result in a mistrial for the eight guilty verdicts, so those decisions will remain.

Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, told Newsweek Tuesday following the convictions that Manafort could now cooperate with prosecutors.

"He is now an 8-time convicted felon and will face substantial prison time. I think we're still not past the possibility of cooperation," McQuade said. "Now that he's been convicted, he has perhaps an even stronger incentive to do so."

McQuade said by cooperating, Manafort's team could ask for a lesser sentence and request the prosecution drop the charges in his second court case slated next month in Washington, D.C., on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign lobbyist.

With a case involving so many charges, it was not surprising a jury would disagree on one or more charges and that it took multiple days to reach a decision. Anything short of numerous guilty verdicts would have been viewed as a shocking loss for prosecutors, who told jurors during closing arguments last week the evidence stacked against Manafort is "overwhelming."

But what would have happened if the jury became deadlocked over the entire case?

If a jury returns to the judge without a verdict, it's called a 'hung jury' and leads to a mistrial. Manafort would not be declared not guilty or guilty, and the entire case would have to be retried from the beginning in front of a new jury. Prosecutors have the option to not pursue a second trial, but that would have been unlikely in a case like Manafort's, which involves so many criminal charges and could land the high-profile figure a prison sentence of more than 300 years.

Following the first day of deliberations, the jury asked Judge Ellis four questions. Jurors asked the judge to redefine "reasonable doubt" as in any criminal case, a jury must find guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." Two questions pertained to tax and bank fraud specifics. A fourth question requested the exhibit list to include the indictment against Manafort so jurors could presumably better associate the evidence with the charges, which the judge refused to provide.

The jury has proposed these 4 questions:
Q: Is one required to file an FBAR if they own less than 50% of the company and no signatory authority?
Q: Define "shelf company"?
Q: Can you redefine reasonable doubt?
Q: Can the exhibit list be amended to include the indictment? https://t.co/CXfriveti7

— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) August 16, 2018

The jury reportedly submitted an additional question to the court Tuesday, but it was unclear what it was about.

Manafort's defense attorney Kevin Downing told reporters after the third day of jury deliberations Monday that his client was "very happy" a decision was taking so long.

"The jury announced that they are going to continue to deliberate starting [Tuesday] morning.... Mr. Manafort is very happy to hear that," Downing said. "[Manafort] thinks it was a very good day."

Downing also agreed the lack of a verdict was a good sign.

Legal experts have since told Vox that it's normal for a federal case this size and magnitude to take longer than normal.

"You could speculate that there's some dynamic involving a holdout, but the better fit with the facts is that they're just moving through methodically and this is how long it would take," Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, told Vox.