People v. Manning, 2017 IL App (2d) 140930

Jury Deliberations

After a second jury trial, the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years. During deliberations, the jury asked if non-unanimity as to mitigating factor meant that charge would "revert" from second-degree murder to first-degree murder. In agreement with the parties, the trial judge instructed the jury that its verdict must be unanimous. Because defense counsel acquiesced to this reply, any error was invited error. However, the Second District Appellate Court found that the trial judge abused her discretion in refusing the defendant's request to poll jury to specifically determine if any juror believed that a mitigating factor existed. A criminal defendant has an absolute right to poll a jury. Because of jury's question, the court found there was a distinct possibility that verdict was wrongly the product of a split vote on the defendant's guilt of second-degree murder that undermined reasonable confidence in verdict.