Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is the Verdict Form a Part of the Jury Charge?

It is.  Therefore, if the verdict form contains mistakes or omissions, those errors are analyzed for harm under the Almanza standards of review.  We reverse the court of appeals, which stated that a verdict form is not part of the jury charge and held that if a defendant fails to object to the omission of a 'not guilty' option on the verdict form, she fails to preserve any complaint on appeal.
See Jennings v. State, released January 27, 2010 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.