California Abolishes an Allen Charge That Encourages a Juror to Consider Majority Opinion in Forming Individual Views on an Issue, Implies That a Case Wil Have to be Retired if the Jury Fails to Agree, or Refers to the Expense or Inconvenience of the Trial



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Texas Tech Law Review


Examines the California Supreme Court’s case People v. Gainer. The court in Gainer held that the trial court erred when giving the jury the Allen charge; which it held was an improper instruction. An Allen charge is an instruction “that either encourages a juror to consider numerical division or majority opinion in forming individual views on an issue, implies that a case will have to be retried if the jury fails to reach a verdict, or refers to the expense or inconvenience of the trial.” The author believes this decision is in line with the current trend of eliminating or modifying the use of the Allen charge.



Allen charge, Jury instruction, Jury charge, Juror, Improper instruction, People v. Gainer, Case note


9 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 645