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Mistaken for Consensus: Hung Juries, the Allen Charge, and the End of Jury Deliberation

Mistaken for Consensus: Hung Juries, the Allen Charge, and the End of Jury Deliberation

Chapter:
(p.39) Two Mistaken for Consensus: Hung Juries, the Allen Charge, and the End of Jury Deliberation
Source:
Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and Public Life
Author(s):
Sonali Chakravarti
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226654324.003.0003

An orientation of radical enfranchisement enriches an understanding of the hung jury because it draws attention to the validity of dissensus on the two most important questions for the jury: the weight of the evidence and the appropriateness of punishment. Disagreement surrounding both may be the cause of a hung jury, but the deliberative process scaffolded by the trial is still critical for legitimacy and includes the commitment of the radically enfranchised juror to weigh aspects of judgment that one might not in one’s personal life (such as the presumption of innocence) as well as the dangers of prejudicial logic. Ignoring these responsibilities cannot be the foundation for a hung jury but, as this chapter suggests, radical enfranchisement can make jurors better attuned to worldview differences among themselves. It can support the knowledge that dissensus after rigorous deliberation can be consistent with the highest ideals of the trial.

Keywords:   hung jury, Allen charge, deliberation, disagreement

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