Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jones: Jury Instruction to Continue Deliberating Impermissibly Coercive

In U.S. v. Jones, No. 06-15203 (Oct. 22, 2007), the Court reversed a conviction, finding plain error when a district court instructed a deadlocked jury: "We will do this [deliberate] until you reach a verdict." The district court also told the jury, after substituting an alternate juror for one who was sick: "There’s no need of sending any notes that you can’t agree, because you are going to stay here for a long time." Citing Jenkins v. United States, 380 U.S. 445 (1965), the Court held that the instructions were "impermissibly coercive."
The Court noted that there was sufficient evidence to convict, and therefore remanded the case for a new trial.