A mistrial in the brutal hammer attack on 68-year-old Asian jewelry store owner Chang Suh has left the Wilmington, Delaware, community and many nationwide outraged. Despite compelling video evidence and an array of charges, including robbery and assault, the jury was deadlocked after two days of deliberation. The inability to reach a verdict in such a convincing case has many questioning the efficacy and fairness of our justice system.
Suh, the proprietor of Solid Gold Jewelers in Wilmington, Delaware, was robbed and suffered grievous bodily harm. The attack, captured on surveillance video, shows the suspect, Calvin Ushery, assaulting Suh with a hammer and stomping on his head. Suh was so badly beaten that he spent four days in intensive care and is reportedly still unable to walk.
Calvin Ushery assaulted and paralyzed a 68-year-old jewelry store owner
Despite a literal video of the attack, the trial just ended without a conviction.pic.twitter.com/ziE4dy1l85
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) September 20, 2023
For the prosecution, the video footage was the cornerstone of their case. “This is not a smash and grab,” Deputy Attorney General Karin Volker argued. “It is a planned robbery and assault.” In addition to the surveillance footage, evidence included Ushery attempting to sell large amounts of jewelry in local pawn shops and his arrest shortly after trying to sell jewelry at a gas station.
Despite the substantial evidence, Matthew Keating, Ushery’s attorney, managed to sow seeds of doubt. Keating warned jurors that the video was “visceral” and “provokes a lot of emotion,” urging them not to “jump to conclusions.” However, one might ask: When is enough evidence truly enough? The surveillance footage captured the suspect riding away on a bicycle, which was later found in Ushery’s apartment. How much more “conclusive” can evidence get?
Update: A mistrial has been declared in the trial of Calvin Ushery because jurors could not reach a verdict. The suspect's attorney told the jury the September 2022 video of the brutal beating of the elderly Asian man "provokes a lot of emotion" but told them not to direct that… https://t.co/aYQ4Zprg1N pic.twitter.com/ytvM06h3u1
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) September 19, 2023
The term “justice” becomes hollow when a case with solid evidence ends in a mistrial. It raises questions about whether justice is truly blind or if it turns a blind eye to certain cases. This case isn’t just about a robbery; it’s about an elderly Asian business owner being savagely beaten. This comes when crimes against Asian Americans have seen a significant uptick, adding another layer to the importance of a just verdict.
In light of the hung jury, the Delaware Department of Justice announced plans to retry the case. While this offers some hope for justice, it also implies that our legal system failed somewhere along the line during the first trial. It also means that Suh and his family must endure the emotional toll of another difficult court process.