Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1410735
 


 



The Power of the Judiciary to Dismiss Criminal Charges after Several Hung Juries: A Proposed Rule to Control Judicial Discretion


Michael A. Berch


Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

1997

Loyola Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 30, p. 535, 1997

Abstract:     
In 1966 approximately five percent of the cases that proceeded to trial ended in deadlocked juries. That percentage has probably increased since then. The occurrence of a small percentage of deadlocked juries, however, is not necessarily a symptom that something is wrong with the criminal justice system. Instead, it may demonstrate that the system truly works. There will always be cases in which the requisite number of jurors simply cannot agree on a verdict.

This article examines a separate issue: How many times may the state retry a defendant whom it has been unable to convict? At what point should the court simply refuse to hear the case and declare that an impasse has been reached? These questions implicate several legal, political, and ethical issues. This article concludes that double jeopardy is not the source of the courts' power to dismiss a prosecution after several hung juries. Another principle that may limit the prosecutor's right to repeated attempts to obtain a conviction is the courts' inherent power, also referred to as the courts' supervisory role, in the administration of justice. Several courts have already recognized this power to bar repeated prosecutions. Others have denied it. This article turns to an analysis of the principles that underlie and the significant cases that explore the nature of the courts' inherent power. This article also reviews the factors that the court should appropriately consider in exercising its discretion in a particular case and examines whether the dismissal should be with or without prejudice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: double jeopardy, criminal procedure, jury

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: May 28, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Berch, Michael A., The Power of the Judiciary to Dismiss Criminal Charges after Several Hung Juries: A Proposed Rule to Control Judicial Discretion (1997). Loyola Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 30, p. 535, 1997. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1410735

Contact Information

Michael A. Berch (Contact Author)
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 304
Downloads: 16

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.281 seconds