However, special verdict
forms introduce an additional layer of
There are three basic types of jury verdicts: (1) general verdicts, (2) special verdicts
, (6) and (3) general verdicts with answers to written questions.
For instance, the same rationales underlying the usefulness of these proposed verdict sheets in mitigating inconsistencies for general verdicts submitted with written interrogatories under Rule 49(b) may still apply to special verdicts
under Rule 49(a).
Unlike the criminal jury in Ukraine, the civil jury may have as few as six members (although twelve jury members would be optimal); (325) the number of peremptory challenges directed at the prospective civil jury members should be smaller; the civil jury may be allowed to issue special verdicts
(although such a practice should be discouraged because of the additional complexities it invites); and a jury verdict in a civil trial can be appealed by the losing party and has the potential of being overturned if, for example, "there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for that party" on an issue and "a claim or defense .
The Solution: Carving at the Joint, Special Verdicts
, and Issue Preclusive Effect
Lombardero, Do Special Verdicts
Improve the Structure of Jury Decision-Making?
Rather than invent a cumbersome process of special verdicts
and penalty phase proceedings in order to save that language from unconstitutionality, Florida should abandon the language, returning to the rule followed in Florida prior to 1994 and adopted in all other jurisdictions with sentencing guidelines, that a guideline sentence may not exceed the statutory maximum.
As a result of this deeply ingrained preference for general verdicts, it is widely agreed that special verdicts
are improper in criminal cases.
Tools like special verdicts
or interrogatories arc virtually useless under these circumstances.
In the civil context, special verdicts
can be used to determine what a jury necessarily decided.
First, a special verdict
form indicating that a defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder based on a premeditated murder theory would obviate the need for the trial court to perform the requisite felony murder analysis under Enmund v.
14, 2000, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth District issued a final decision that a series of special verdicts
issued by the jury were irreconcilable.