Double Jeopardy Blues: Why in Light of Blueford v. Arkansas States Should Mandate Partial Verdicts in 'Acquit First' Cases

53 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2014  

James Sheppard

University of Mississippi - School of Law

Date Written: January 23, 2014

Abstract

Prior to Blueford v. Arkansas, state courts were split regarding whether the Double Jeopardy clause requires a trial judge to issue a partial verdict when a jury has has become deadlocked regarding a lesser included charge after being given “acquit first” transition instruction. The Court in Blueford recently held that in the same circumstances, a defendant’s double jeopardy rights are not violated when a trial judge refuses to issue a partial verdict. Accordingly, this comment advocates that in light of Blueford, states give effect to the jury’s decision to not convict the defendant of the greater charge by requiring a trial judge grant a defendant’s motion for partial verdict, thereby providing broader double jeopardy protections than now constitutionally required.

Keywords: Blueford, double jeopardy, partial verdict, lesser included offense doctrine, acquittal first

Suggested Citation

Sheppard, James, Double Jeopardy Blues: Why in Light of Blueford v. Arkansas States Should Mandate Partial Verdicts in 'Acquit First' Cases (January 23, 2014). Mississippi Law Journal, Vol. 83, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2228857

James Sheppard (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi - School of Law ( email )

Lamar Law Center
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
United States
7043633897 (Phone)
7043633897 (Fax)

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