Some legal experts said they believed prosecutors should have objected during the defense cross-examination when Heal offered his opinion on whether the case should have been prosecuted
"It's irrelevant whether he thinks it's a crime," said Hirsch. "That's the province of the jury."
Some lawyers speculated that prosecutors did not object because doing so would have called more attention to the statement. But had Heal's statement been stricken from the record, defense attorneys could not have used it repeatedly in their closing arguments.
Prosecutors also ran into trouble with Jackson's testimony, which Morris said was discounted by the jury because of his confused and sometimes contradictory statements.
Jackson, who suffers from an auditory disorder that impairs his ability to communicate, refused an officer's order to sit in a patrol car, which led to the struggle. He testified that he was unconscious while being hoisted onto the car, but Morris said Jackson's inconsistent statements undermined his testimony.
Morse's attorneys argued that the tape showed a limp Jackson, who was in effect "passively resisting."
Prosecutors concentrated almost exclusively on the car slam, as even one of their own use-of-force experts said there was evidence that Jackson may have grabbed Morse's testicles, prompting him to punch Jackson in the face. If Morse was grabbed, use of force would have been justified, experts agreed.
Morris and six other jurors were persuaded that the car slam was unjustified.
"I just couldn't see any way that throwing him on the trunk was necessary, even if he was passively resisting," he said.
Legal experts said the deep division in the jurors, however, may point to continued difficulty in convicting Morse of a felony.
The jurors' reactions were typical of police abuse cases, said experts. Many people are willing to give officers the benefit of the doubt -- reflecting a "schizophrenic"' attitude that people have on use-of-force issues, said David Klinger, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
"If we run around and second-guess police officers and start throwing them in prison," said Klinger, " ... we as a people realize that the more fearful cops are of being prosecuted, the less aggressive they will be of protecting us."
Peter Arenella, a professor at UCLA School of Law, called Heal's sympathetic testimony about a fellow officer and the sharply divided opinion of jurors "a classic example of why it's so hard to prosecute police officers on excessive use of force."
"Reasonable people can disagree," he said. "Some jurors are very willing to give officers the benefit of the doubt in a close case like this."
The district attorney's office said Wednesday that a decision on who would prosecute Morse next time had not yet been made.
Cooley said he believed the case was "straightforward."
"When the handcuffs go on, there has to be extraordinary circumstances for a use of force to be justified," he said. "No further force should have be applied in this circumstance."
He defended the performance of his prosecutors and declined to analyze the trial.
"I have a great deal of admiration for their diligence and skills," Cooley said. "I am not going to engage in Monday morning quarterbacking like some of those outside the courtroom."
Juror Morris questioned whether the results of a second trial would be any different.
"In any representative sampling of people I think you'll find that some people consider [Morse's actions] OK," he said. "There are some people who don't. But it just seems to me that some people think in order for the police to make the streets safe, they will have to beat some heads once in a while."
Times staff writers Richard Winton and Jean Merl contributed to this report.