Apodaca v. Oregon

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Apodaca v. Oregon
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 1, 1971
Reargued January 10, 1972
Decided May 22, 1972
Full case name Robert Apodaca et al. v. State of Oregon
Citations 406 U.S. 404 (more)
92 S. Ct. 1628, 32 L. Ed. 2d 184
Prior history Certiorari to the Court of Appeals of Oregon
There is no constitutional right to a unanimous jury verdict in non-federal criminal cases. Thus Oregon's law did not violate due process. (plurality opinion)
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William O. Douglas · William J. Brennan Jr.
Potter Stewart · Byron White
Thurgood Marshall · Harry Blackmun
Lewis F. Powell Jr. · William Rehnquist
Case opinions
Majority White, joined by Burger, Blackmun, Rehnquist
Concurrence Powell
Dissent Douglas, joined by Brennan, Marshall
Dissent Brennan, joined by Marshall
Dissent Stewart, joined by Brennan, Marshall
Dissent Marshall, joined by Brennan

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 less than unanimity even though federal law required that federal juries must reach criminal verdicts unanimously. 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. Thus Oregon's law did not violate due process.

Justice Powell, in his concurring opinion, argued that there was such a constitutional right 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.

Arguing the case for the state of Oregon were Jacob Tanzer and Lee Johnson; both would later serve on the Oregon Court of Appeals.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jacobsohn, Gary J. (1977). "The Unanimous Verdict Politics and the Jury Trial". Washington University Law Quarterly. 1977 (1): 39–57. 
  • Saks, Michael J. (1977). Jury Verdicts: The Role of Group Size and Social Decision Rule. Lexington: Lexington Books. ISBN 0669011002. NCJ 42103. 

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