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Pounce on inconsistent criminal bench verdicts

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Aug 31, 2011 Pounce on inconsistent criminal bench verdicts

In criminal cases, juries sometimes return inconsistent verdicts on multiple counts. This phenomenon could represent a jury compromise.

Inconsistent verdicts in bench trials do not involve a compromise verdict, unless the judge is Sybil. Consequently, any time a judge returns inconsistent verdicts at bench trials, that is the time for the defense to pounce in moving to strike the inconsistency. Today, this concept was underlined in a theft case appeal in Maryland, where the judge’s bench verdict reflected irreconcilable inconsistencies about whether the court had territorial jurisdiction over the convicted behavior. In Re: Antoinette H, ___ Md. App. ___ (Aug. 31, 2011).

 

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