Supreme Court Rules Jury Can Be Called Back After Dismissal

The ruling doesn’t apply to criminal cases because of double jeopardy

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that judges can call jurors back and tell them to deliberate again if there’s been a mistake, NBC News reported. 

The ruling stems from a jury that awarded a man zero dollars after he sued a driver for physical therapy costs after a car crash. The judge dismissed the jury, but realized the verdict wasn’t legally permissible — it had to be the amount agreed upon by both parties, which was $10,000. The judge recalled the jury, who awarded the plaintiff $15,000 the next day. 

The plaintiff said he should have received a new trial, but in a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court says a judge has the power to bring a jury back in the event of a mistaken verdict.

The wait time before the jury is recalled is at the judge’s discretion. The decision says the longer the judge waits, the more likely a jury will become tainted. The Supreme Court ruling doesn’t apply to criminal cases because of double jeopardy. 

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