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Duplicity: Roots of the Rule Requiring Juror Unanimity as to each Discrete Offense Shown by the Evidence
By Thomas Lundy
Jury Instruction columns.
— Part One
Because the question of specific juror unanimity/duplicity continues to surface on a regular basis, the “Jury Instruction Corner” will cover this issue in a three-part series. This month’s article addresses the constitutional and common law roots of the jury unanimity doctrine. Part Two will discuss the complex question of which evidentiary situations require juror unanimity as to specific acts, theories, or offenses. Part Three will provide specific cases and instructions to illustrate the situations in which the issue may arise.
Advice to Trial Judges
In 2001, California Appellate Justice Sims made the following “request” in a short-lived concurring opinion: I concur in the majority opinion.
I write separately to say that I am completely dumbfounded by the continuing failure of our trial courts to give the standard jury instruction requiring jury unanimity. (CALJIC No. 17.01.)
* * *
I do not understand what it is about CALJIC No. 17.01 that causes trial judges not to give it. It
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