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.
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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.