Author Archive | Daniel Habib

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Modified Allen Charge Not Required Where Jury Poll Reveals Non-Unanimity

United States v. McDonald, No. 12-2056-CR (2d Cir. July 22, 2014) (Cabranes, Sack, and Lynch), Available Here

During deliberations in defendant’s fraud trial, the jury announced that it had reached a guilty verdict. When the jury was polled, Jurors 1-10 so confirmed, but Juror No. 11, asked whether guilty was her verdict, answered “no.” With the parties’ agreement, the trial court (Koeltl, J.) told the jury that he would “send you back to deliberate to see whether you can reach a unanimous verdict, in light of all the instructions I have given you.”

After deliberations resumed, the court told the parties that he had identified a model instruction (Sand ¶ 9.12) applicable where a jury poll reveals a lack of unanimity. The first part of the model instruction tracks what the jury had already been told. The second part, however, contains a modified Allen charge, encouraging the jurors to …

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