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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb The Judge's "Dynamite Charge" if the jury becomes deadlocked

    I saw this work recently in a Texas criminal case involving the murders of 2 young women in N. Texas. The DP was NOT on the table...

    The Allen Charge per case law. This is what the Judge brings the jury back in and READS TO THEM AND CHARGES THEM TO CONTINUE TO DELIBERATE if there is a deadlock or a stalemate. I SAW it work. Probably many of our posters who are attorneys have also.

    From the Judge to the Jury:
    "Members of the Jury:
    I'm going to ask that you continue your deliberations in an effort to reach agreement upon a verdict and dispose of this case; and I have a few additional comments I would like for you to consider as you do so.
    This is an important case. The trial has been expensive in time, effort, money and emotional strain to both the defense and the prosecution. If you should fail to agree upon a verdict, the case will be left open and may have to be tried again. Obviously, another trial would only serve to increase the cost to both sides, and there is no reason to believe that the case can be tried again by either side any better or more exhaustively than it has been tried before you.
    Any future jury must be selected in the same manner and from the same source as you were chosen, and there is no reason to believe that the case could ever be submitted to twelve men and women more conscientious, more impartial, or more competent to decide it, or that more or clearer evidence could be produced.
    If a substantial majority of your number are in favor of a conviction, those of you who disagree should reconsider whether your doubt is a reasonable one since it appears to make no effective impression upon the minds of the others. On the other hand, if a majority or even a lesser number of you are in favor of an acquittal, the rest of you should ask yourselves again, and most thoughtfully, whether you should accept the weight and sufficiency of evidence which fails to convince your fellow jurors beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Remember at all times that no juror is expected to give up an honest belief he or she may have as to the weight or effect of the evidence; but, after full deliberation and consideration of the evidence in the case, it is your duty to agree upon a verdict if you can do so.
    You must also remember that if the evidence in the case fails to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the Defendant should have your unanimous verdict of Not Guilty.
    You may be as leisurely in your deliberations as the occasion may require and should take all the time which you may feel is necessary.
    I will ask now that you retire once again and continue your deliberations with these additional comments in mind to be applied, of course, in conjunction with all of the other instructions I have previously given to you."

  2. #2
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    I think the defense would object if that was read because it's asking some to lay aside their doubt. I like it though!
    Never blame the victim.

  3. #3
    missm's Avatar
    missm is offline POSTPARTUM SCHIZOPHRENIA! Yes folks, you heard that correctly!
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    Interesting. Thanks for posting!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PalmettoGirl View Post
    I think the defense would object if that was read because it's asking some to lay aside their doubt. I like it though!
    Maybe I wasn't clear. The Allen Charge is given orally from the Judge to the jury AFTER the defense and prosecution has rested and the Jury is sequestered for deliberations, and is only used if they are deadlocked, being frivolous, or otherwise not deiberating with sober and diligent concentration.

    Has nothing to do with either set of attorneys. ONLY between the Judge and his Jury.
    I can totally see Judge Perry issuing this charge if the jury is waffling, has excessive minor questions, or returns a note to the court that they are " deadlocked".

    This trial has been hugely expensive. We all want justice for a precious little two year old. My posting of the Allen Charge was done to say " Judge Perry has a very effective directive left if he needs it".

    And also to say that I believed a murderer would walk because of a very circumstantial case, but the Allen Charge broke the deadlock and the jury did go the extra mile for the victims, for the prosecution, and mainly, for the judge after he issued this to them one week into deliberations.

    I have faith this jury WILL return a verdict. Not many worries about a hung jury because judges are using the Allen Charge to the benefit of the victims.

  5. #5
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    seekingjana I think this is a good question to have one of our lawyers look at. I"m interested in seeing their answer too



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