- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 07-08-2021
- Case #: A169250
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Shorr, J.; & Powers, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Philips appealed a judgment of conviction for assault in the fourth degree that constituted domestic violence and harassment after a nonunanimous jury found him guilty. Phillips argued that the trial court erred during jury instruction by permitting, and later accepting, nonunanimous verdicts on both charges in violation of the jury unanimity requirement of Due Process. On review of the court’s jury instruction for legal error, “[a] trial court commits reversible error when it incorrectly instructs a jury on a material element . . . And that instructional error allows the jury to reach a legal erroneous outcome,” such as jury unanimity under the due process requirement for conviction. State v. Harper, 296 Or App 125, 126 (2019). The Court held that the trial court erred by instructing the jury that it could reach a nonunanimous verdict and that, regardless of the offense, the court could not accept nonunanimous verdicts on both counts. Reversed and remanded.