CRIMINAL PRODECURE – Unanimous verdict, multiple counts: Frederick Miller v. Commonwealth of Kentucky (SC 5/21/2009)

Frederick Miller v. Commonwealth of Kentucky
2007-SC-000048-TG May 21, 2009
Opinion by Justice Scott. Chief Justice Minton not sitting.

Miller was convicted of multiple counts of third-degree rape, third-degree sodomy and PFO-I. The charges stemmed from his relationship with a 15-year-old girl. On appeal, Miller argued he was denied his right to a unanimous verdict because the jury instructions for each of the multiple counts were factually indistinguishable. The Court ordered a new trial, ruling that palpable error had occurred since there was no assurance that all jurors were voting for the same factually distinct crime. The Court went on to reject Miller’s arguments regarding the sufficiency of the evidence and denial of his right to a speedy trial. Justice Cunningham (joined by Justice Schroder) concurred in result only, asserting that consideration of the evidentiary and speedy trial claims was premature in light of ordering a new trial.

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