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Supreme Court rules judges can recall discharged juries

June 9, 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States says judges may — in rare circumstances — call a jury back to the courtroom after it’s delivered a verdict and been dismissed.

The justices ruled 6-2 in a case involving a traffic accident in Montana.

A federal jury was deliberating how much to award a man whose car was broadsided at an intersection. The amount was supposed to be something more than the $10,000 the parties had previously agreed to. Instead, jurors said the defendant owed nothing.

The judge discharged the jury before he realized a mistake had been made. He recalled jurors to service, and they quickly awarded the man $15,000 before going home for good.

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