Tuesday, July 05, 2011

People v. Carbajal (Cal. Ct. App. - July 5, 2011)

Today's Theme:  "Jury Confusion, and Why We Don't (or Can't) Do Anything About It."

Here's yet another case.  The jury convicts Carbajal of molesting one victim, but is hung with respect to the other.  There's a "sentencing enhancement" that says you're punished more if you molest two victims.  Despite the fact they're hung on the second victim, the jury says "True" on the enhancement.  Which the trial judge recognizes is inconsistent, and asks 'em about it, at which point the jury says "Oh, we were confused, we thought it was just multiple 'counts,' not multiple victims."  So the judge understandably sends 'em back in.

At which point they immediately return, this time with a "False" finding.  Which is also inconsistent with their being hung on the other victim.  So the trial court boots the thing and gives it to another jury, which convicts on both the substantive offenses against the second victim as well as the enhancement.

Seems fine, right?

Nope.  Violates the Double Jeopardy Clause, according to the Court of Appeal.

Jurors.  Sausage.  Weird stuff.