Jury Instruction Corner: Duplicity— Part Four

The question of specific juror unanimity/duplicity continues to surface on a regular basis. Thomas Lundy discusses issues related to appellate review of specific unanimity claims, including the bases upon which reviewing courts hold specific unanimity error to be harmless. Jury unanimity is a constitutionally based concept — a defendant is entitled to a verdict in which all jurors concur, beyond a reasonable doubt, as to each count charged. “Duplicity,” another term used to describe this doctrine, is the joining in a single count of two or more distinct and separate offenses.