Hunter Biden juror says the prosecution was a "waste of taxpayer dollars"

Hunter Biden was convicted of lying about his drug addiction when buying a gun

Published June 12, 2024 9:57AM (EDT)

Hunter Biden (Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)
Hunter Biden (Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)

The day after closing arguments in Hunter Biden's felony gun trial wrapped up on Monday, 12 Delaware jurors delivered their verdict: guilty on all three counts, making him the first child of a sitting U.S. president to be convicted of a crime. President Joe Biden has said that he would not pardon his son.

Although the jury needed less than 24 hours to convict, some jurors said afterwards that they felt bad doing so and that the prosecution case seemed aimed "as much to embarrass as it was to convict," in the words of USA Today.

“Honestly, it was heart-wrenching,” Juror 10 told the publication.

Of all the moments in a trial closely bound to Hunter Biden's mental health issues, Juror 10 said that the testimony by his daughter, Naomi — describing how her father's drug use spiraled after the death of his brother, Beau Biden  was the "saddest part of all." The juror recalled being uncomfortable with prosecutors cross-examining Naomi with questions about her father's text messages in an effort to undercut her testimony about his sobriety.

"Naomi probably just wants her dad to be like he was before his brother died," said another juror, identified by USA Today as from the New Castle area. That juror said that she "wasn't a fan of the prosecution," in large part because aspects of their case, such as highlighting a trove of evidence of drug addiction that far predated the gun purchase, seemed unnecessary even if they were trying to get a point across.

“In my opinion, this was a waste of taxpayer dollars,” she said. The juror added that she "didn't want to find him guilty" because the evidence showed "he needed help," but she ultimately voted to convict based on the application of relevant criminal law.

Juror 10, who felt that Hunter Biden knew himself as someone addicted to drugs when he bought the gun, also made his decision based on the facts of the case. “If you are an addict, you are an addict,” he said. “I know personally from people that I know that were drug addicts and alcoholics, this is something that sticks with you for the rest of your life.”

Hunter Biden, who says he has been sober since 2019, faces up to 25 years in prison, though first-time offenders rarely receive the maximum sentence. He will find out within 120 days, according to Judge Maryellen Norieka.

“I don’t think anyone who is a non-violent drug addict should be in prison. Just fine him,” the New Castle-area juror said. “We know he did something wrong. He needs help if he hasn’t gotten it yet.”

MORE FROM Nicholas Liu