Do criminal jury verdicts have to be unanimous?

Related Ads

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small

In most cases in most states, criminal verdicts must be unanimous. In other words, each and every member of a given jury must agree in order to acquit or convict the defendant. But there actually isn’t a universal right to a unanimous verdict. The Supreme Court has upheld state laws that require less than complete agreement for conviction—for example, a 10-2 vote in favor of guilt. On the other hand, a 5-1 vote isn’t enough for a verdict when the jury consists of only six members and the offense isn’t petty—verdicts of such juries must be unanimous. (Burch v. Louisiana, 441 U.S. 130 (1979).)

For more information on the jury system, see The Right to Trial by Jury.

by: , Attorney

Talk to a Defense Lawyer

Charged with a crime? Talk to a lawyer.
HOW IT WORKS
how it works 1
Briefly tell us about your case
how it works 2
Provide your contact information
how it works 1
Choose attorneys to contact you
LA-NOLO3:DRU.1.6.2.20140917.28520