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STATE OF MISSISSIPPI v. CARL TAYLOR

MAY 31, 1989

STATE OF MISSISSIPPI
v.
CARL TAYLOR



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, C.J.; ROBERTSON AND SULLIVAN, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This appeal of a grand larceny conviction presents a question of procedure regarding the handling of a verdict returned by the jury. Because below the jury returned in proper form a verdict of not guilty which the Circuit Court received and ordered filed, the accused stands effectively and irrevocably acquitted and the subsequent jury deliberations of no effect. Upon the Attorney General's confession of error, we reverse.

On June 25, 1987, Carl Taylor was indicted by a Grand Jury of the First Judicial District of Harrison County, Mississippi, for the crime of Grand Larceny. On February 24, 1988, the case was called for trial on the merits of the issue. At the conclusion thereof and after deliberation, the jury returned into open Court a verdict of not guilty. The verdict thus rendered was ordered filed upon the minutes of the Court. Upon a poll of the jury thereafter requested by the State, the Court ascertained that one juror did not agree with the verdict. The Court then ordered the jury to retire and consider further. Some thirty minutes later, the jury returned into open Court a verdict that Taylor was guilty as charged. The Court accepted that verdict and subsequently sentenced Taylor to serve a term of three (3) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

 The dispositive question on appeal is whether the Circuit Court erred in polling the jury after it had ordered the verdict recorded by the clerk, and, when one juror disavowed the verdict, returning the jury for further deliberations.

 The operative facts are sequentially recited:

 1. The jury knocked, signifying the conclusion of its deliberations;

 2. The Court inquired if a verdict had been reached;

 3. The jury signified that a verdict had been determined;

 4. The Court received the verdict from the jury and ascertained that it was in correct form;

 5. The Court announced the verdict;

 6. The Court ordered the verdict filed;

 7. The State requested a poll;

 8. A juror declined to accept the verdict as his own;

 9. The jury was ordered returned for further deliberations, which resulted in ...


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