Apodaca v. Oregon

United States Supreme Court case
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Robert Apodaca et al. v. State of Oregon
publication date
May 22, 1972
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10/30/2007
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Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404 (1972), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that state juries may convict a defendant by a less-than-unanimous verdict in a felony criminal case. The four-justice plurality opinion of the court, written by Justice White, affirmed the judgment of the Oregon Court of Appeals, and held that there was no constitutional right to a unanimous verdict. Although federal law requires federal juries to reach criminal verdicts unanimously, the Court held Oregon's practice did not violate the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury and so allowed it to continue. In Johnson v. Louisiana, a case decided on the same day, the Court held that Louisiana's similar practice of allowing criminal convictions by a jury vote of 9-3 did not violate due process or equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Powell, in his concurring opinion, argued that there was a constitutional right to a unanimous jury in the Sixth Amendment, but that the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause does not incorporate that right as applied to the states. This case is part of a line of cases interpreting if and how the Sixth Amendment is applied against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment for the purposes of incorporation doctrine, although the division of opinions prevented a clear-cut answer to that question in this case.
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Apodaca v oregon
Apodaca v Oregon
406 U.S. 404
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