Ultimately, what may have kept McCoy out of an orange jumpsuit was that his lawyer urged the jury to empower themselves. She told them they are not potted plants or an unthinking arm of government. They, in fact, are the government. She read to the jury a section from the Georgia Constitution that says, “The jury shall be the judges of the law and the facts.”

Bernard said the judge chided her for bringing that up, but it seems the words sank in.

The case started when police were called to McCoy’s mobile home four years ago. McCoy’s half-brother had allegedly attacked him with a stick and McCoy grabbed his .22 rifle, the one he uses to hunt squirrels, and shot his sibling in the shoulder.

Police found several potted plants in McCoy’s bedroom and tagged him with several charges including aggravated assault and manufacturing marijuana, a felony that can bring 10 years.