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Criminal Law/Unanimous Vs. Majority Verdicts


What are the advantages and disadvantages of a majority verdict?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a unanimous verdict?


This is a broad question so I will give you examples from the U.S. Supreme Court which you can use to trickle down to other Federal and State Court Systems.   

A Majority opinion:  Also called the "Opinion of the Court," this is the official verdict in the case that represents the vote of the majority of justices.  The advantage is that the majority view is represented.  The disadvantage is that the dissenting justices can write their dissenting opinions as to how they view the case and how it should have been decided.  This can be used to influence future cases but will most likely considered "dicta" or superfluous.  

A Unanimous opinion:  An opinion authored by one justice, often (but not always) the Chief Justice, and signed by all justices.   The advantage is that it sends a very clear message from the Court as to the basis of their collection decision.  The disadvantage is the opponents to the decision have very little chance to alter decisions in future decisions of legal issues in that particular arena.  

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Jeffrey Hauck


I would welcome the opportunity to answer questions relating to or related to the field of criminal law.


Criminologist. Professor of Criminal Justice. Licensed Private Detective with expansive clientele base encompassing hundreds of cases. Donates resources and time to the Children's Rescue Network in Orlando, FL.

Associate of Science; Bachelor of Arts; Master of Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree.

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