The Eton Patz Case: Are Allen Charges Coercive?

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Robin Barton

The worst possible outcome in a criminal trial is a hung jury. No one wins.

Both the prosecution and defense must present their cases again. Witnesses must re-testify, which is especially hard on victims who must relive the events once again. New jurors must be selected and hear the evidence anew.

To try to avoid a hung jury, the judge may give a jury that says it's unable to reach a verdict what is often called an "Allen . . .

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