Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Down With CRT! Jill Su’s Life Mattered

Black jurors in Dayonte Resiles trial allegedly refused to convict black defendant for murder of white woman
Screen Shot 2022-01-09 at 2.01.32 PM

In 2014, a wealthy south Florida woman, Jill Halliburton Su, was murdered:

The wife of a prominent professor and a relative of the founders of the billion-dollar Halliburton oil empire, Su lived in an upscale mansion in a gated Florida community. In her spare time, she read to the blind and raised money for various charities.

But everything changed Monday when Su, 59, was found dead in a bizarre murder mystery that is raising more questions than answers.

“She was always involved in helping others. She was the first person to volunteer for anything,” says her friend Theresa Randolph, who she has known for more than a decade. “Just a very sweet, kind, giving woman.”

On Monday morning, Dr. Nan Yao Su, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida’s Research and Education Center in Fort Lauderdale, tried to watch the live feed of his home’s security cameras. When he was unable to see the feed, he called home. Receiving no answer, he called his adult son and asked him to check on the house.

When the son arrived at the waterfront mansion, he found a chilling scene. A glass door had been broken; shards of glass covered the ground. At least one room had been ransacked. And worst of all, his mother was lying dead in a bathtub.

Jill Su, white murder victim (Source)

Police eventually arrested Dayonte Resiles for the murder. His DNA was found on the murder weapon. He went on trial late last year. He is black; his victim was white. The result:

Dayonte Resiles killed Jill Halliburton Su by stabbing her to death and leaving her lifeless body in a bathtub in her Davie home — on that much, jurors could agree.

But they couldn’t agree on a murder charge, according to the jury forewoman, because three members refused to sign off on a verdict that would send a young Black man to prison for the rest of his life. For a short time, the nine who wanted a first-degree murder conviction were willing to budge. A manslaughter conviction would send Resiles to prison for 15 years, not for life. All 12 jurors signed off on manslaughter late Tuesday.

But that, according to the forewoman, would not have been justice. Not for her. Not for the defendant. Not for the victim. “What have I done?” she thought.

In an interview Thursday night, the forewoman, who asked not to be identified by name, shed light on what happened in the deliberation room in the days leading up to the hung jury and mistrial, describing a cauldron of anger, mistrust, betrayal and, underscoring it all, accusations of racial and anti-police bias.

It came to a head Tuesday night, when the manslaughter verdict was read, and the forewoman was faced with the usually-routine question of whether she agreed with the group’s decision.

Only a few seconds passed, but the forewoman’s mind was racing. She thought of the victim and the family left behind. She felt the eyes of the judge and the prosecutor and the victim’s husband boring into her. She was torn between her agreement with her fellow jurors and her firm belief that the prosecution proved Resiles guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I just got a knot in the pit of my stomach. I looked at the defense table. They were just cheering and patting him on the back, like he graduated high school or made the winning touchdown at a football game,” she said. “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?”

Finally, she recalled the advice her husband gave her before the trial started: “Follow the law. Don’t cave.”

She was convinced Resiles did not commit manslaughter on Sept. 8, 2014 — he committed murder. Manslaughter was not her verdict.

“No,” she told the judge. She didn’t agree.

Her answer prompted the judge to send the jury back to the deliberation room. Her fellow jurors were incensed, she recalled.

“If I do leave here with friends, that would be great,” she recalled saying. “But at the end of the day, I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to give justice to Jill. This was about her.”

The holdout juror, who is a mixed-race Puerto Rican, said that some black jurors accused her of not caring about the life of a black man, who would go to prison for life if he were convicted of murder (versus manslaughter). Her refusal at the last minute to affirm the manslaughter charge made it possible to retry Resiles. Jury selection for the retrial began this month. (Another juror, this one a white man, later claimed that there was no racial animosity among jurors, though he did not explain why he believes that Resiles was guilty of murder, but he agreed to the manslaughter verdict.)

Richard Hanania observes:

Exactly. And this is why the further along we get in mainstreaming CRT, the closer we will come to civil war. You cannot expect people to sit back and accept that the murderer of their loved one should get a lesser sentence because of the color of his skin. Black people in this country had to live with that for many years. It was monstrously unjust. It always will be unjust to dole out justice on the basis of race, wealth, or anything else other than individual guilt or innocence. Our legal system cannot survive jurors who are willing to send people to prison, and keep them out of prison, on the basis of the defendant’s race. While we will never be able to achieve a system capable of producing perfect justice, we can get closer to that ideal. The Florida jury’s verdict is a huge step backward. It would be possible to look at this as an aberration, except for the fact that as Hanania points out, that immoral verdict is what you would expect under Critical Race Theory.

CRT and its implementation by institutional elites is tearing this country apart. While the media obsess over the MAGA yahoos of January 6, the real destruction of the American project is advancing through the law, through medicine, through business, and through the education system. And it is a project of the illiberal Left.