Thursday, September 8, 2016
Kathleen M. Knudsen (Regent University - School of Law) has posted The Juror's Sacred Oath: Is There a Constitutional Right to a Properly Sworn Jury? (32 TOURO L. REV. 489) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
On August 12, 2012, in United States v. Turrietta the Tenth Circuit upheld a conviction by an unsworn jury under the doctrine of harmless error. By contrast, in 2007, in Spencer v. State, the Georgia Supreme Court held that a verdict by an unsworn jury was invalid, and because jeopardy never attached, the prosecution could re-prosecute a claim on which the defendant had been previously acquitted by an unsworn jury. The concept that an unsworn jury could convict but could not acquit runs fundamentally contrary to constitutional criminal procedural protections. This article argues that Federal Circuit Courts and the United States Supreme Court should rule on this issue and provide a clear precedent because district courts have denied that defendants have a constitutional right to a properly sworn jury due to the lack of clear precedential cases on this issue.