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Unanimous Jury

 
 
gollum
 
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 11:53 am
The U.S. Constitution grants the right to trial by jury. I don't believe it states that a jury decision be unanimous.

Must such decisions be unanimous? According to what?
 
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 12:07 pm
There are two court systems in the United States: federal and state courts. Each covers different types of cases. In the federal system, whether the trial is criminal or civil, the jury must reach a unanimous verdict. In state courts, whether a jury needs to be unanimous depends on the state and the type of trial. For criminal trials, nearly every state requires the jury to produce a unanimous verdict. For civil trials, almost one-third of states only require a majority for a verdict. Some states require a majority if the money at issue in the trial is below a certain amount, and a unanimous verdict all other times. Sometimes, a jury cannot gather enough votes for one verdict. This is called a "hung jury." What happens next depends on the court and type of trial. The judge may declare a mistrial and require the parties to litigate the case before an entirely different jury. Some courts allow the jury to create a list of questions for the parties to answer in an additional hearing.
gollum
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 01:19 pm
@centrox,
centrox-

Thank you.

As to the federal system, the U.S. Constitution does not state that a jury must decide by a unanimous decision.

Did Congress enacted such a law? If yes, could Congress now write a new law providing for a decision without a unanimous vote of jurors?
centrox
 
  3  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 02:06 pm
@gollum,
The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (promulgated by the Supreme Court of the United States, pursuant to its statutory authority under the Rules Enabling Act [of Congress])

Rule 31. Jury Verdict
(a) Return. The jury must return its verdict to a judge in open court. The verdict must be unanimous.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 02:31 pm
@centrox,
That's impressive.
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 02:38 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
That's impressive.

That's Google.
0 Replies
 
gollum
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 02:53 pm
@centrox,
centrox-

Thank you.

So Congress enacted a law entitled Rules Enabling Act.

That law authorized?/ordered? the Supreme Court of the United States to promulgate the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Hmm. I thought pursuant to the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court tried Cases on appeal from lower federal courts and in some Case by original jurisdiction.

I don't know where Congress would get power to order the Supreme Court to do something other than try Cases.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 03:22 pm
The Rules Enabling Act (ch. 651, Pub.L. 73–415, 48 Stat. 1064, enacted June 19, 1934, 28 U.S.C. § 2072) is an Act of Congress that gave the judicial branch the power to promulgate the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Amendments to the Act allowed for the creation of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and other procedural court rules. The creation and revision of rules pursuant to the Rules Enabling Act is usually carried out by the Judicial Conference of the United States, the policymaking body of the United States federal courts.

The enactment of the Rules Enabling Act on June 19, 1934, was a revolutionary moment in the history of civil procedure in the United States. The law repealed the archaic "conformity principle" which had governed actions at law (and only actions at law) in U.S. federal courts for over 140 years; namely, the rule that federal courts should conform their procedure in such actions to that of the courts in the state in which they were located. The conformity principle had caused major problems for federal courts that did not actually sit in the United States, such as the United States Court for China.

While the courts exercised rulemaking powers granted to them under the Act without Congressional intervention for nearly forty years, Congress refused to allow the Federal Rules of Evidence to go into effect after their approval by the Supreme Court in 1973. The Rules of Evidence were eventually passed, with substantial changes, as legislation by Congress. Because of Congress's intervention in 1973 and subsequent years, the rulemaking powers granted to the judiciary by the Act have been reduced, causing the Act to command less importance in recent years. However, the Act makes it very difficult for litigants to challenge the validity of constitutional Federal Rules via the Erie Doctrine.

gollum
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Nov, 2017 05:42 am
@centrox,
centrox-

Thank you. You are very knowledgeable.

Why could not Congress now amend the Rules Enabling Act to provide for a verdict by a less than unanimous jury?

Why could not the judicial branch (e.g., the Supreme Court or the Judicial Conference of the United States,) amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to provide for a verdict by a less than unanimous jury?
0 Replies
 
 

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