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Name: U.S. v. McCaleb
Case #: 06-50387
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/13/2009

The District Court may resubmit an inconsistent verdict to the jury for clarification. Appellant was convicted of both the charged count and the lesser included offense. Without objection from either party, the court instructed the jury that from the verdict forms submitted, it was unclear as to the intended verdict. It then explained to the jury that if it found defendant not guilty as to the charged offense, only then should it consider the lesser included. The jury was provided clean verdict forms, it returned to deliberation, and shortly later returned a verdict on the charged offense. The reviewing court rejected appellant’s claim that the court coerced a verdict with this procedure noting that since the district court could have treated the guilty verdict on the lesser included as surplusage, it did not err by asking for clarification with an ambiguous verdict. (Larson v. Neimi (9th cir. 1993) 9 F.3d 1397.)