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Posts tagged "unanimous verdict"

Inaccurate Election of Offenses Not Plain Error in This Case

Election of offenses in a criminal trial refers to a prosecutor's duty, in a case where there was evidence at trial of multiple separate incidents which might meet the elements of the charged offense, to elect, for each count, upon which specific incident the jury should deliberate to determine guilt of that count. The purpose of this is to protect a defendant's right to a unanimous verdict in determining whether the defendant's conduct on a specific occasion meets the elements of a particular charged offense (rather than having some jurors evaluating the events of one occasion and other jurors evaluating the events of another instead). In the recent case of State v. Knowles, W2013-00503-SC-R11-CD (Tenn. 7-31-2015), the Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed a conviction for rape of a child, despite a clearly inaccurate election of offenses.

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