Jenkins v. United States

PETITIONER: Jenkins
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Louisiana General Assembly

DOCKET NO.: 761
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 380 US 445 (1965)
ARGUED: Apr 01, 1965
DECIDED: Apr 05, 1965

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Jenkins v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 01, 1965 in Jenkins v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 761, Melvin C. Jenkins, Petitioner, versus United States.

Mr. Sisk --

H. Thomas Sisk:

Yes.

Earl Warren:

You may proceed with your argument.

H. Thomas Sisk:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This is a criminal case that's here on certiorari from the United States Court of Appeals from the District of Columbia.

This case concerns one instruction if any a trial judge should give a jury after they announced that they're unable to reach a verdict.

Petitioner's main contention is that no supplemental instruction whatsoever should be given which encourages juries to agree after they have once retook -- retired.

Petitioner basis this on the premise that each individual person in a criminal trial has a constitutional right to have a jury disagree and that a supplemental instruction or an instruction given in accordance with United States versus Allen infringes on this constitutional right as its very purpose is to facilitate agreement among jurist.

It applies right in the face of what petitioner contends is a constitutional right.

Well, your position as I take it that the (Inaudible) should be overruled.

H. Thomas Sisk:

That's exactly it Your Honor.

You don't try to distinguish this charge?

H. Thomas Sisk:

Well, there is two points on certiorari -- on appeal here, Your Honor.

The first point is that Allen itself is unconstitutional and the discharge was made under the authority of the Allen case.

And the second point is that the charge that was given even though it was made under the authority of the Allen case varied so far from the Allen case and was so coercive that it should be considered reversed below.

(Inaudible) it was not necessary for (Inaudible)

H. Thomas Sisk:

Well, I think that it would be necessary to overrule the -- well, let me rephrase that, Your Honor.

I think it would desirable to overrule Allen case.

(Inaudible)

H. Thomas Sisk:

That's my personal opinion.

(Inaudible)

H. Thomas Sisk:

Yes, Your Honor.

Earl Warren:

Is it necessary for him representing a client (Inaudible) is this necessary for us to overrule the Allen case in order to (Inaudible)

H. Thomas Sisk:

No Your Honor.

Earl Warren:

-- for him to (Inaudible)

H. Thomas Sisk:

No -- to answer your question first, Your Honor, I don't believe that it's necessary to overrule Allen in order to protect my client and obtain a reversal.

But I --

Earl Warren:

(Inaudible)

H. Thomas Sisk:

Thank you.