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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 7346 (November 25, 2023).

234 Pa. Code Rule 649. Sealed Verdict.

Rule 649. Sealed Verdict.

 (A)  Upon the consent of all parties the judge may permit the jury to seal its verdict.

 (B)  The sealed verdict shall remain in the custody of the foreman of the jury who shall bring it to the next session of court stated by the trial judge. Once a verdict is sealed, the jurors may separate, but all jurors must return to open court to render the jury’s verdict, with all parties present.

 (C)  If upon the poll of a jury there is no concurrence with a sealed verdict, the judge shall not accept the verdict, but shall declare a mistrial and discharge the jury.


   The 1972 amendment deleted the exception of those cases in which a capital crime is charged in view of Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972) and its companion cases, and in view of Commonwealth v. Bradley, 449 Pa. 19, 295 A.2d 842 (1972).

   This rule codifies the existing law with respect to sealed verdicts. See Rule 103, Rule 601 and Rule 648(F).

   Paragraph (C) follows the Pennsylvania cases, Commonwealth v. Watson, 211 Pa. Superior Ct. 394, 236 A.2d 567 (1967); Commonwealth v. Lemley, 158 Pa. Superior Ct. 125, 44 A.2d 317 (1945).

   Official Note

   Rule 1121 adopted January 24, 1968, effective August 1, 1968; amended November 29, 1972, effective 10 days hence; renumbered Rule 649 and amended March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001; Comment revised September 21, 2012, effective November 1, 2012.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   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 September 21, 2012 revision of the Comment correcting a rule reference in the second paragraph and the case citations published with the Court’s Order at 42 Pa.B. 6251 (October 6, 2012).


   The provisions of this Rule 649 amended September 21, 2012, effective November 21, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 6247. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (361902) and (359423).

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