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Archuleta v. People.

2020 CO 63. No. 19SC453. Criminal Law—Juror Unanimity— Modified Unanimity Instruction—Election—Child Abuse.

June 22, 2020

In this case involving a charge of child abuse resulting in death, the Supreme Court considered whether defendant was entitled to a modified unanimity instruction requiring that the jurors either unanimously agree that she committed the same act or acts underlying the child abuse charge or that she committed all of those acts. Because the prosecution charged and tried this case on the theory that defendant had committed the offense at issue by engaging in a single criminal transaction resulting in the child’s death, and because (in light of the prosecution’s theory) the Court saw no reasonable likelihood that the jurors disagreed on which specific act caused the child’s death, the Court concluded that defendant was not entitled to a modified unanimity instruction.

The Court therefore reversed the judgment of the division below and remanded the case with instructions to reinstate defendant’s conviction on one count of child abuse resulting in death.

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

Related Topics

Criminal Law, Juror Unanimity, Modified Unanimity Instruction, Election, Child Abuse

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