In June 2016 the Supreme Court ruled in Dietz v. Bouldin that federal judges in civil cases could, in order to amend a flawed verdict, reuse a jury that was discharged and long gone. Under this ruling, by the time the court or the attorneys recognize the inconsistent ruling, the jury could and likely will have been profoundly prejudiced, therefore violating the claimant’s right to a fair trial afforded to him by our democratic system of justice. The prejudice test implemented by the Court in Dietz is not detailed enough to tighten the reins on judicial discretion and ensure that the re-empaneled jury is still impartial. This article argues that district judges should instead adopt a test where judges balance the amount of prejudice that has occurred since the jury’s release with the burdens of ordering a new trial in that court. To maintain our historic democratic principles, the presumption should be that a new trial will be granted unless the risk of prejudice is less than the burden of ordering a new trial. This article argues that with this proposed balancing test in place, the sanctity of juries will be preserved—unlike what is set forth in Dietz, no spoiled jury will be able to wrongly affect a claimant’s fate.
Ciccolini, Maria T.
"Long Gone! When to Recall Discharged Juries,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 51
, Article 11.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol51/iss3/11