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234 Pa. Code Rule 648. Verdicts.

Rule 648. Verdicts.

 (A)  Upon retiring to deliberate, the jury shall select one of its members as foreman.

 (B)  The verdict shall be unanimous, and shall be announced by the foreman in open court in the presence of a judge, the attorney for the Commonwealth, the defendant and defendant’s attorney, except as provided in Rule 602.

 (C)  If there are two or more defendants, the jury may report a verdict or verdicts with respect to those defendants, upon which it has agreed, and the judge shall receive all such verdicts. If the jury cannot agree upon a verdict with respect to all of the defendants, the verdicts which have been received shall be recorded.

 (D)  If there are two or more counts in the information or indictment, the jury may report a verdict or verdicts with respect to those counts upon which it has agreed, and the judge shall receive and record all such verdicts. If the jury cannot agree with respect to all the counts in the information or indictment if those counts to which it has agreed operate as an acquittal of lesser or greater included offenses to which they cannot agree, these latter counts shall be dismissed. When the counts in the information or indictment upon which the jury cannot agree are not included offenses of the counts in the information or indictment upon which it has agreed, the defendant or defendants may be retried on those counts in the information or indictment.

 (E)  If there are two or more informations or indictments, the jury may report a verdict or verdicts with respect to those informations or indictments upon which it has agreed, and the judge shall receive and record all such verdicts. If the jury cannot agree with respect to all the informations or indictments, if those informations or indictments to which it has agreed operate as an acquittal of lesser or greater included offenses to which they cannot agree, these latter informations or indictments shall be dismissed. When the informations or indictments upon which the jury cannot agree are not included in the offenses of the information or indictment upon which it has agreed, the defendant or defendants may be retried on those informations or indictments.

 (F)  If there is a summary offense joined with the misdemeanor, felony, or murder charge that was tried before the jury, the trial judge shall not remand the summary offense to the issuing authority. The summary offense shall be disposed of in the court of common pleas, and the verdict with respect to the summary offense shall be recorded in the same manner as the verdict with respect to the other charges.

 (G)  Before a verdict, whether oral or sealed, is recorded, the jury shall be polled at the request of any party. Except where the verdict is sealed, if upon such poll there is no concurrence, the jury shall be directed to retire for further deliberations.

Comment

   Paragraph (A) of the rule replaces the practice of automatically appointing the first juror chosen as foreman of the jury. Paragraphs (C), (D), and (E) serve only to codify the procedure where conviction or acquittal of one offense operates as a bar to a later trial on a necessarily included offense. Similarly, the rule applies to situations of merger and autrefois convict or acquit. No attempt is made to change the substantive law that would operate to determine when merger or any of the other situations arise. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Comber, 374 Pa. 570, 97 A.2d 343 (1953).

   Paragraph (F) provides for the disposition in the court of common pleas of any summary offense that is joined with the misdemeanor, felony, or murder charges that were tried before the jury. Under no circumstances may the trial judge remand the summary offense to the issuing authority, even in cases in which the defendant is found not guilty by the jury. See also Rule 543 (Disposition of Case at Preliminary Hearing).

   Paragraph (G) provides for the polling of the jury and requires the judge to send the jury back for deliberations in accordance with Commonwealth v. Martin, 379 Pa. 587, 109 A.2d 325 (1954). With respect to the procedure upon non-concurrence with a sealed verdict, see Rule 649(C).

   Although most references to indictments and indicting grand juries were deleted from these rules in 1993 because the indicting grand jury was abolished in all counties, see PA. CONST. art. I, §  10 and 42 Pa.C.S. §  8931(b), the reference was retained in paragraphs (D) and (E) of this rule because there may be some cases still pending that were instituted under the former indicting grand jury rules prior to the abolition of the indicting grand jury in 1993. These references to ‘‘indictment’’ do not apply in the context of an indicting grand jury convened pursuant to the new indicting grand jury procedures adopted in 2012 in which an information would be filed after a grand jury indicts a defendant. See Rules 103 and 556.11.

   Official Note

   Rule 1120 adopted January 24, 1968, effective August 1, 1968; amended February 13, 1974, effective immediately; paragraph (E) amended to correct printing error June 28, 1976, effective immediately; paragraph (F) amended April 26, 1979, effective July 1, 1979; amended August 12, 1993, effective September 1, 1993; renumbered Rule 648 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; amended March 9, 2006, effective September 1, 2006; Comment revised June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Report explaining the August 12, 1993 amendments published at 22 Pa.B. 3826 (July 25, 1992).

   Final Report explaining the March 1, 2000 reorganization and renumbering of the rules published with the Court’s Order at 30 Pa.B. 1478 (March 18, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the March 9, 2006 amendments concerning joinder of summary offenses with misdemeanor, felony, or murder charges published with the Court’s Order at 36 Pa.B. 1392 (March 25, 2006).

   Final Report explaining the June 21, 2012 revisions of the Comment concerning the former abolition of the indicting grand jury published with the Court’s Order at 42 Pa.B. 4153 (July 7, 2012).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 648 amended June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days, 42 Pa.B. 4140. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (359421) to (359422).



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