The author touches on it, but another interesting aspect of the criminal justice system is the funding, politics and police practices that motivate the prosecution of minor crimes that never see a court room. Many unnamed players in this story had vested financial and political interests in particular outcomes. In this case, the stakes were large enough that the jurors lost sleep and distressed over the details. One wonders if softening the charges to lesser charges would have weakened his resolve.
It's poetic that at trial, the defendant, the witnesses, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the judge and the jury cannot lie. Police, however, are trained to do so during investigations as a best practice in pursuit of justice. That fact probably contributed to the author's initial distrust in the system, sewing the seeds of this mistrial.