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Dennis Devine

Dr. Devine’s Findings Cited in Recent Supreme Court Decision

Apr 24th, 2020
Devine, Publications, Summaries & Alerts
Themevision Focus
Dr. Devine's Finding Cited in Recent Supreme court Decision

Link to CNN Article:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/20/politics/scotus-jury-verdict-criminal-trial/index.html
Link to judicial opinion:
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-5924_n6io.pdf

The U.S. Supreme Court recently cited research conducted by a ThemeVision team member in their Ramos v. Louisiana decision. The Supreme Court’s decision cited a comprehensive review of jury decision making studies authored by Dennis Devine.

The review article was published in a top social science journal and has been widely cited in law journals and textbooks. Interestingly, the article was cited by both sides–in the majority opinion authored by Judge Gorsuch and in the dissenting opinion written by Judge Alito. The Court’s opinion in the case establishes a classic “bright-line” rule for the criminal justice system. Going forward, unanimous jury decisions will be required for criminal matters in all jurisdictions within the United States outside of the military. Previously, it was permissible for convictions to be based on non-unanimous super-majorities (e.g., 10 jurors favoring conviction and 2 favoring acquittal). The new decision overturns precedent set by earlier Supreme Court decisions from the 1970s and may require a large number of criminal cases in Louisiana and Oregon to be retried where convictions had been based on non-unanimous jury verdicts. In addition to the clear prohibition of non-unanimous jury verdicts, this new decision provides a springboard for future challenge of another pillar of the criminal jury system—the practice of allowing criminal juries with fewer than 12 jurors.”