EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Allen Charge Project: Kansas

The key Kansas case on the Allen Charge is State v. Salts, 200 P.3d 464 (Kan. 2009).

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January 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Allen Charge Project: Iowa

They key Iowa case on the Allen Charge is State v. Campbell, 294 N.W.2d 803 (Iowa 1980).

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January 6, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Allen Charge Project: Indiana

The key Indiana case regarding the Allen Charge is Lewis v. State, 424 N.E.2d 107 (Ind. 1981).

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January 4, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 30, 2016

What it Means to Say That There Still is "Compelling" Evidence Against Adnan Syed

One portion of Judge Welch's opinion that has caught the eyes and ears of readers and listeners is this one:

The circuit court finds that the nature and circumstances of the offenses are the most serious in nature and there still is compelling evidence against Petitioner.[FN5]

FN5 Although the State characterizes the cell phone evidence against Petitioner as strong, the circuit court notes that this evidence was the basis of the circuit court's grant of post-conviction relief and likely would be offered and attacked differently at a new trial.

So, what should we take away from Judge Welch's statement that "there still is compelling evidence against Petitioner"? 

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December 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (13)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

An Analysis of Judge Welch's Opinion Denying Adnan Syed Release Pending the State's Appeal

Today, Judge Welch issued a Memorandum Opinion denying Adnan Syed's motion for release pending the State's appeal of Judge Welch's prior opinion granting Adnan a new trial. As I've noted before, this was the likeliest result, but there were also aspects of Judge Welch's opinion that are promising in terms of Adnan's future chances of release pending (re)trial.

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December 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (11)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Idaho

The key Idaho case on the Allen Charge is State v. Flint, 761 P.2d 1158 (Idaho 1988).

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December 28, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Hawai'i

They key Hawai'i case on the Allen Charge is State v. Farjado, 699 P.2d 20 (Hawai'i 1985).

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December 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Georgia

The key Georgia case on the Allen Charge seems to be Anderson v. State, 276 S.E.2d 603 (Ga. 1981).

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December 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Florida

They key Florida case on the Allen Charge is State v. Bryan, 290 So.2d 482 (Fla. 1999).

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December 20, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: D.C.

They key D.C. case on the Allen Charge is Winters v. United States, 317 A.2d 530 (D.C. 1974).

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December 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Delaware

The key Delaware case on the Allen Charge is Collins v. State, 56 A.3d 1012 (Del. 2012). 

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December 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Connecticut

The key Connecticut case on the Allen Charge came back in 1881. It was decided by the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut and involved man by the name of James Smith, who also was known as "Chip."

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December 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Colorado

Wikipedia lists Colorado as one of the states where the Allen Charge has been rejected in whole or in part. The key case here is Taylor v. People, 490 P.2d 292 (Colo. 1971).

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December 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: California

California has clearly rejected the Allen Charge. The key case in the Golden State is People v. Gainer, 566 P.2d 997 (Cal. 1977).

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December 13, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Arkansas

In Arkansas, judges are clearly allowed to give the Allen Charge. The most recent Supreme Court of Arkansas opinion on the issue is Walker v. State, 637 S.W.2d 528 (Ark. 1982).

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December 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Arizona

According to Wikipedia, Arizona is one of the jurisdictions that has rejected the Allen Charge in whole or in part. The cited case is State v. Thomas, 342 P.2d 197 (Ariz. 1959).

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December 9, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Malice, Manslaughter, and the Michael Slager Trial

According to the foreman of the jury in the Michael Slager trial, 

the jury was focusing on a lesser manslaughter conviction for Slager rather than murder, which under South Carolina law requires "malice aforethought."

"We had to come to find out that he didn't do anything malicious," Montgomery said on NBC's "Today" show. "He had a brief disturbance in reason at that moment."

So, what are "malice" and "manslaughter" under South Carolina law?

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December 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Allen Charge Project: Alaska

The key Alaska case regarding the Allen Charge is Fields v. State, 487 P.2d 831 (Alaska 1971). In Fields, Eugene Field and Joseph Bassett appealed from their convictions for assault with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery, robbery, and grand larceny. When the jury had been deadlocked in the case, the judge gave the following instruction:

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December 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Allen Charge Project: Alabama

Following up on my (still to be completed) series of posts about the different approaches that states take with regard to prior inconsistent statements, I wanted to do a series of posts about the different approaches that states take with regard to Allen charges. As we reminded recently with the Michael Slager trial, an Allen charge is an instruction that the judge gives to the jury to continue deliberating after the jury has indicated that it is deadlocked. According to Wikipedia,

Allen charges have been rejected, in whole or in part, by at least twenty-three states. Twenty-two states have rejected the charge by judicial decision: Alaska,[5] Arizona,[6] California,[7] Colorado,[8] Hawaii,[9] Idaho,[10] Louisiana,[11] Maine,[12] Michigan,[13] Minnesota,[14]Montana,[15] Nebraska,[16] Nevada,[17] New Hampshire,[18] New Mexico,[19] North Dakota,[20] Ohio,[21] Oregon,[22] Pennsylvania,[23] Rhode Island,[24] Tennessee,[25] Wisconsin,[26] and Wyoming.[27] Additionally, Kentucky has eliminated the Allen charge through its rules of criminal procedure.[28]

So, is that correct, and what have other states done with regard to the Allen charge?

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December 7, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

What Effect Does the Judge Knowing the Jury Alignment Have on the Allen Charge in the Michael Slager Trial?

I've gotten a lot of questions about whether Michael Slager might have grounds for appeal if he is convicted of murdering Walter Scott, given that the judge gave an Allen charge while knowing that the jury was 11-1 in favor of conviction. The answer is "maybe."

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December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (3)