Shortest Jury Trials?

What were some of the shortest jury trials in US judicial history? For this discussion, let’s exclude kangaroo courts such as Jim Crow-era lynchings, Puritan era religious trials, etc.

Has there ever been a legitimate jury trial in the US where the prosecutor gave his opening statement and the jury handed down its verdict in the same day? If so, how common is this?

What were some of the shortest jury trials in US judicial history? For this discussion, let’s exclude kangaroo courts such as Jim Crow-era lynchings, Puritan era religious trials, etc.

Has there ever been a legitimate jury trial in the US where the prosecutor gave his opening statement and the jury handed down its verdict in the same day? If so, how common is this?

My first jury trial ever, the jury only deliberated for around five minutes. I had good facts.

Not only has it happened, it happens all the time. I was second chair at a one day felony jury trial just Tuesday, including the punishment phase.

It’s very common. Most trials are two or three days. Some are shorter, some are longer.

–Cliffy

Well, Ronnie Earle’s prosecution of Kay Bailey Hutchinson in 1993 was over before it got started:

It’s a long story but you can read about it here

I think it depends on what you mean by “trial” – the prosecution and the defense can agree on a plea bargain at just about any time, so I’ve heard it’s not uncommon for a jury to be selected, seated, and then the defense to chicken out and accept a plea offer.

The closest I’ve come to such a scenario is one where I was selected for a jury pool, went to said room at said time, and then told that the defense, upon seeing the jury arrive, accepted a plea bargain. I’d never seen it happen before, but my fellow potential jurors assured me it had.

Yes, this happens relatively often, in my experience. And jury trials (particularly in straightforward cases with few witnesses) can frequently be concluded in a single day. Sometimes the jury selection process takes much longer than deliberations.

I was on a jury and the trial lasted only about 3 hours. Of course, the defendant had no representation. :eek: