Parker v. Small

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-27-2011
  • Case #: 10-17128
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judges Wallace and Thomas and Senior District Judge Albritton III, Per Curiam
  • Full Text Opinion

It does not violate a persons right to a trial by jury when a judge advises a holdout jury to try alternative methods of deliberation in accordance with California's Moore Charge.

Brian Parker was convicted of murder after a six week trial in California. During deliberations, the jury informed the judge that a unanimous decision was not possible and made repeated attempts to express their indecision. The judge gave the jury a "Moore" instruction which asked them to try different methods of deliberating. People v. Moore (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 1105, 1121. Parker appealed that instruction on the basis that the judges instruction was coercive, and denied his right to a trial by jury. The California Court of Appeal ruled that the instruction was permissible. The Ninth Circuit reivewed the California Court of Appeals decision to see if the ruling "was based on an unreasonable determination of the the facts in light of the evidence." The Ninth Circuit affirms the California Court of Appeals decision for not being an unreasonable determination. Moore charges are a permissible jury instruction in California. The body of federal law concerning Allen charges hinges on whether a judge "urges minority jurors to consider the majority's view of reasonableness or their own view." As minority or holdout jury members were not singled out in the Moore charge, Parker was not denied his right to a trial by jury. Affirmed.

Advanced Search