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
Date Written: January 23, 2014
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
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