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Burch v. Louisiana

    Brief Fact Summary. Petitioners were convicted on obscenity charges by a six-person jury that was not unanimous.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. “[T]hat conviction by a nonunanimous six-member jury in a state criminal trial for a nonpetty offense deprives an accused of his constitutional right to trial by jury.”

    Facts. Petitioners Burch and a Louisiana corporation were jointly charged for the exhibition of two obscene motion pictures. Under Louisiana statute, the petitioners were convicted by a six-person jury that was not unanimous. Five persons voted for conviction.

    Issue. “[W]hether conviction by a nonunanimous six-person jury in a state criminal trial for a nonpetty offense as contemplated by.


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