SUPREME COURT GRANTS CERT WHERE THE TRIAL JUDGE DECLARES A MISTRIAL IN A MURDER CASE WHEN THE JURY FOREWOMEN TELLS THE JUDGE HOW THE JURY HAS ALREADY VOTED: IS IT DOUBLE JEOPARDY TO TRY THE DEFENDANT AGAIN?

Oh, impartial jurors, please don’t tell the Court what you’ve decided until you actually render your verdict at the end of the case otherwise bad things will happen possibly even this unfortunate result….
The Supreme Court granted certiorari this morning in the case of Alex Blueford v. Arkansas, 
No. 10-1320. 

The facts are as follows:

Petitioner Blueford was tried on a charge of capital murder. During jury deliberations the jury forewoman, in open court, informed the court that the jury had voted unanimously against the capital murder charge and against the lesser-included charge of first-degree murder, but that it was deadlocked on the lesser-included offense of manslaughter. (oops!) 
The court declared a mistrial, and subsequently ruled that double jeopardy did not prevent a retrial on all charges. 

The defendant appealed interlocutorily

to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which affirmed. Blueford v. State, 2011Ark. 8, S.W.3d, 2011 WL 285805 (Ark. 2011).


Areas of Practice for Robert Hambrick – Attorney in Clearwater, FL
Criminal Defense Attorney and Trial Lawyer Crimes in Clearwater, FL
Definition: Certiorari, Petition for Writ of Certiorari. Legal Dictionary | Law.com
JuryBox.org – Explaining Jury Nullification as the Last Check and Balance

Jury behavior

Scholarly research on jury behavior in American non-capital criminal felony trials reveals that juror outcomes appear to track the opinions of the median juror, rather than the opinions of the extreme juror on the panel, although juries were required to render unanimous verdicts in the jurisdictions studied. Thus, although juries must render unanimous verdicts, in run-of-the-mill criminal trials they behave in practice as if they were operating using a majority rules voting system.

The Jury by John Morgan, 1861 This is a very talkative bunch of jurors…the one with the blue scarf on his head wants to convict my client, shame on you — but the future foreman of the jury, that bright tall fellow right behind Mr. Bluescarf knows that my client is innocent and plans to dominate the jury and then if necessary,  invade Continental Europe to prove my client’s innocence – Many Thanks.

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