This Note explores the dual jury system in which each defendant in a joint trial has his or her own jury to decide guilt or innocence. In 1968, in Bruton v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that despite any limiting instruction, a defendant’s right to confrontation is violated when an incriminating out-of-court confession is admitted against him when the confesser does not testify. This decision called into question courts’ ability to try defendants jointly. Shortly thereafter, courts began impaneling two juries simultaneously to decide the guilt or innocence of each defendant. This procedure was first approved by the federal courts in 1972 and has continued to withstand defendant challenges for nearly four decades. In addition to remedying the dilemma stemming from Bruton, impaneling dual juries also is a way to promote judicial economy and grant partial severance based on antagonistic defenses. Many courts, however, are reluctant to endorse the procedure despite their affirmation of convictions of defendants tried by dual juries. This Note argues that courts should endorse the dual jury trial procedure. It also urges the adoption of detailed guidelines to assist judges in implementing the dual jury practice and proposes a model of such guidelines.
Canty, Kaitlin A., "To Each His Own Jury: Dual Juries in Joint Trials Note" (2010). Connecticut Law Review. 89.