United States v. Crittenden, Brief of Amicus Curiae Professor Jennifer L. Mascott in Support of Defendant-Appellee on Rehearing En Banc

38 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2022 Last revised: 27 Jan 2024

See all articles by R. Trent McCotter

R. Trent McCotter

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School

Karyn Christensen

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students

Jamieson Knopf

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students

Tyler Shannon

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students

Jamie Gray

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students

Date Written: May 10, 2022

Abstract

The Court should affirm the district court’s order granting a new trial based on a weight of the evidence standard, which is consistent with the centuries-old understanding of the proper scope of the new trial protection for criminal jury trials, a critical component of American self-government and an important constraint on federal prosecutorial overreach. Rather than disrupting deference to juries, extensive early federal and state case law suggests that ready availability of new trials promotes the jury trial right. Over centuries rooted in British common law and the Judiciary Act of 1789, federal and state courts have recognized new trials as a safety valve to correct verdicts contrary to the weight of evidence where the evidence is “doubtful” or a verdict “does not satisfy the conscience of the judge.”

Keywords: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Federal Law, Criminal Procedure, Jury trial, Judicial power

JEL Classification: K1, K14, K4, K42

Suggested Citation

McCotter, R. Trent and Christensen, Karyn and Knopf, Jamieson and Shannon, Tyler and Gray, Jamie, United States v. Crittenden, Brief of Amicus Curiae Professor Jennifer L. Mascott in Support of Defendant-Appellee on Rehearing En Banc (May 10, 2022). Gray Center Separation of Powers Brief 22-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4185123

R. Trent McCotter (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Karyn Christensen

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Jamieson Knopf

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Tyler Shannon

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Jamie Gray

George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, Students

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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