Trump Jury Didn't Pick 1 Out of 3 Crimes; So What!

Non-Unanimity on Jury Choices Not Unprecedented; Selection Isn't Required
WASHINGTON - May 31, 2024 - PRLog -- Now that Trump has been convicted of 34 felonies, some commentators are arguing that the verdict was unfair, and the charge was erroneous, because the jurors were not required to agree on and specify which 1 of 3 "unlawful means" made his crime of falsifying business records into 1 not barred by the statute of limitations.

More specifically, they object to the portion of the charge which told the jurors that "Although you must conclude unanimously that the defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means, you need not be unanimous as to what those unlawful means were."

But there are many situations in which a jury is required by law to reach a unanimous decision as the guilt or innocence, but not necessarily agree as to each an every underlying aspect or particular, notes public interest lawyer John Banzhaf.


Nevertheless, a conviction based upon such evidence is certainly valid, since jurors don't have to be in full agreement as to all aspects of the crime to reach a legally permissible verdict: e.g. regarding the murder weapon, the precise number of blows struck, whether it was the victim or the assailant who briefly cried out, whether the first blow was stuck from behind or not, etc.
A jury may certainly return a valid guilty verdict without specifying which statutory violation was the cause of the death.

On a related matter, Professor Banzhaf, who is also a celebrated mathematician, suggested that a hung jury was a reasonable possibility based upon a mathematical analysis.
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Although we now know that the final announced verdict was unanimous, it might be very interesting to learn - e.g. if a juror is eventually willing to discuss it - whether there were 1 or more jurors who initially refused to support a guilty verdict, but who were eventually worn down or otherwise pressured by the overwhelming major into finally agreeing to vote guilty.  @profbanzhaf

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