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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 42)

Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice

Since the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, fans at Dignity Health Sports Park have mostly been supporting the away team or have been non-existent.

The Chargers took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Sunday night primetime matchup and the team was greeted by mostly fans east of the Mississippi River. When the Steelers’ anthem – “Renegade” by the Styx – blared in the stadium’s speakers, Los Angeles was not happy.

TENNESSEE TITANS’ DELANIE WALKER JABS TEAM’S TWITTER ACCOUNT FOR TWEET OVER QUARTERBACK DILEMMA

“It was crazy,” Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon told the Los Angeles Times. “They started playing their theme music. I don’t know what we were doing — that little soundtrack, what they do on their home games. I don’t know why we played that.”

He added: “I don’t know what that was. Don’t do that at our own stadium … It already felt like it was their stadium … I don’t understand that.”

Chargers offensive lineman Forrest Lamp also didn’t appreciate the music.

DETROIT LIONS PLAYERS, HALL OF FAMER CRITICIZE OFFICIATING AFTER CLOSE LOSS TO GREEN BAY PACKERS

“We’re used to not having any fans here,” he told the L.A. Times. “It does suck, though, when they’re playing their music in the fourth quarter. We’re the ones at home. I don’t know who’s in charge of that but they probably should be fired.”

Apparently, playing “Renegade” at their home field in front of thousands of Steelers fans was the Chargers’ way of trying to “Rick Roll” the fans. The team cut off “Renegade” and played Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

But because “Renegade” was played while the Chargers were still down by a few scores, 24-10, it didn’t help boost morale.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Steelers-fans-LAC Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-chargers fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc f39308c5-1247-5169-8f5a-533dcc6ee322 article

Fans stand in front of a remote controlled cooler prior to an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

The Chargers have already had a tough start to the season. Los Angeles is 2-4 to start the year, having dropped Sunday’s game to the Steelers 24-17.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Los Angeles has two games on the road coming up, one against the Tennessee Titans and the other against the Chicago Bears. The team returns home Nov. 3 against the Green Bay Packers.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Steelers-fans-LAC Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-chargers fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc f39308c5-1247-5169-8f5a-533dcc6ee322 article   Westlake Legal Group NFL-Steelers-fans-LAC Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-chargers fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc f39308c5-1247-5169-8f5a-533dcc6ee322 article

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Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Drops Among North Carolina Voters As Republicans Walk Away Over Ukraine, Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 6qTosrB31fT4MRAObjTBeuyKXOcHibu3x15WDQ_mcxg Donald Trump's Approval Rating Drops Among North Carolina Voters As Republicans Walk Away Over Ukraine, Impeachment r/politics

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Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup

Jeep has forged an unlikely alliance to build a new war machine.

Westlake Legal Group war1 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The Gladiator XMT features a combination of consumer and custom military parts. (Jeep/AM General)

The automaker has teamed up with AM General to create a military-spec version of the new Jeep Gladiator pickup called the Gladiator XMT (Extreme Military-Grade Truck.)

Indiana-based AM General is the company behind the HMMWV — more commonly known as the Humvee — which was the most visible successor to the line of Jeep vehicles that traced their history to World War II and later spawned General Motors’ Hummer brand. However, Jeep and AM General are both descendants of Kaiser Jeep, so the tie-up represents something of a reunion of the two brands.

Westlake Legal Group war4 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The WWII-era Willys MB spawned a line of military vehicles that were built into the 1970s. (Jeep)

According to the partners, AM General approached Jeep with the idea to turn the all-new Gladiator into a Light Tactical Vehicle after noting its capabilities, which include a rugged 4×4 drivetrain and very high payload and towing ratings for a midsize pickup.

Westlake Legal Group war2 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The Gladiator XMT has been envisioned as a command and control vehicle. (Jeep/AM General)

While their exact specifications have not been detailed, the concept XMTs revealed at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual exposition feature a combination of commercially available parts and custom military equipment, and are primarily aimed at troop transport and communications. Jeep offered a similar military version of the previous-generation Wrangler SUV it called the J8 to foreign militaries starting in 2008, but the XMT could also see duty wearing The Stars and Stripes.

Westlake Legal Group war3 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The J8 was offered in several configurations. (Jeep)

“The Gladiator XMT, if pursued, would be offered worldwide but with a clear focus on providing a cost-effective solution to the U.S. military in a number of possible roles,” a Jeep spokesman told Fox News Autos.

“We would expect the Gladiator XMT to be used for logistics and support, command and control, border security and peacekeeping activities. However, its flexibility and exceptional performance will make it suitable for a variety of additional military and governmental roles.”

AM General said it could begin filling orders for the Glaxiator XMT as soon as next year. The civilian version of the Gladiator starts at $35,040.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group war2 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336   Westlake Legal Group war2 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

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Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces

CEYLANPINAR, Turkey — Russia said on Tuesday that its military units were patrolling territory in northern Syria between Syrian and Turkish forces after the American withdrawal from the area, underscoring the sudden loss of United States influence in the area and illustrating how the power balance in the region has shifted rapidly in the past week.

The announcement that Russian forces were now patrolling an area where the United States had maintained two military bases until Monday appeared to signal that Moscow was moving to fill a security void left by the American withdrawal.

Videos circulating on social media appeared to show a Russian man filming himself walking around a recently evacuated United States military base in northern Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that its military police, which already had established a presence in other parts of Syria, were patrolling “the northwestern borders of Manbij district along the line of contact of the Syrian Arab Republic military and the Turkish military.”

It added that its troops were coordinating “with the Turkish side” and that “the Syrian government army has taken full control of the city of Manbij and nearby populated areas.”

The developments came as the head of the United States-led coalition forces said on Twitter on Tuesday that they had left the formerly Kurdish-held town of Manbij. “Coalition forces are executing a deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria,” Col Myles B. Caggins wrote. “We are out of Manbij.”

Russia and Turkey will shortly be the only international armies in the area. An international alliance of counterterrorism forces, which includes French and British soldiers, announced they, too, would also depart the region following the American withdrawal, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Turkish and Syrian troops are racing to control large parts of northern Syria that were run by an autonomous Syrian Kurdish regional government until a Turkish-led invasion began last Wednesday, under the protection of American troops stationed in the region.

Syrian government troops were deployed inside the northern city of Manbij, a Syrian state broadcaster said on Tuesday, as Turkish-led forces advanced in the countryside outside the city.

Elsewhere in northern Syria on Tuesday, Kurdish-led fighters attempted to retake the strategic border town of Ras al-Ain from Turkish-led forces, as Kurdish and Syrian government troops sought to repel the Turkish incursion.

Heavy fire from machine guns could be heard to the south and southwest of Ras al-Ain and from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, which is less than a mile from the fighting. Turkish artillery pounded an eastern suburb of the Syrian settlement midmorning, raising clouds of smoke above low farmhouses and pistachio groves.

Where Turkish forces and the Syrian government have moved into Kurdish-held areas

Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-900 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

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Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-600 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

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Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-335 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

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Sources: Times reporting; Control areas as of Oct. 14th via Conflict Monitor by IHS Markit | By Sarah Almukhtar, Allison McCann and Anjali Singhvi

As of Tuesday, fighting in Ras al-Ain and other areas in northern Syria has forced at least 160,000 people from their homes, according to United Nations estimates. The Kurdish authorities put the figure at 270,000.

The battle highlighted the fluctuating nature of the Turkish incursion, which began last Wednesday after President Trump ordered the evacuation of American troops from the Turkish-Syrian border, opening the door for Turkish troops and their Syrian Arab proxies to enter Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria.

Westlake Legal Group syria-turkey-promo-1571094797315-articleLarge-v3 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

4 Big Questions About Syria’s Future

The surprise American withdrawal from parts of northern Syria reshuffled old alliances and touched off a new stage of the eight-year war.

Since the Kurdish authorities asked the government of President Bashar al-Assad for assistance, thousands of Syrian Army troops have flooded into northern Syria for the first time since the government lost control of the region several years ago.

But Syrian government troops have stayed clear of the border region near Ras al-Ain, where Kurdish troops fight on alone. Instead, government forces have deployed to other strategic positions, such as the western cities of Manbij, to help alleviate pressure on Kurdish fighters on the front line.

The last-minute alliance comes at great cost to the Kurdish authorities, who are effectively giving up self-rule.

Syrian Kurdish militias established a system of self-rule in northern Syria in 2012, when the chaos of the Syrian civil war gave them the chance to create a sliver of autonomous territory free of central government influence.

The fighters greatly expanded their territory after they partnered with an international military coalition, led by the United States, to push the Islamic State from the area.

After the Kurdish-led fighters captured ISIS territory, they assumed responsibility for its governance, eventually controlling roughly a quarter of the Syrian landmass. They have also been guarding thousands of ISIS fighters and their families, hundreds of whom fled a detention camp in Ras al-Ain after Turkish-led forces bombed the surrounding area.

The Kurds’ control of the land in Syria enraged Turkey, since the militia is an offshoot of a guerrilla group that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state. Turkey has long pressed the United States to abandon its alliance with Kurdish fighters so Turkish troops could enter Syria and force the Kurds from territory close to the border.

Washington rebuffed Turkey’s requests for several years, maintaining a de facto peacekeeping presence along the border near Ras al-Ain, the town at the center of the fighting on Friday. But that changed last week, when Mr. Trump made a sudden decision to withdraw troops — first from that particular area, and later from all of northern Syria.

In Britain, meanwhile, a day after foreign ministers from all 28 European Union member states agreed unanimously to stop selling arms to Turkey — the first time the bloc has reached such a decision about a NATO ally — Britain announced a pause in such ties with Turkey.

Dominic Raab, Britain’s foreign secretary, told the House of Commons on Tuesday that “no further export licenses to Turkey for items which might be used in military operations in Syria will be granted” until the government had conducted a review.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has made clear he will not bow to pressure to halt the offensive. “We will soon secure the region from Manbij to the border with Iraq,” he said on Tuesday, during a visit to Azerbaijan, referring to the 230-mile expanse of territory.

Carlotta Gall reported from Ceylanpinar, and Patrick Kingsley from Istanbul. Anton Troianovski contributed reporting from Moscow, and Iliana Magra from London.

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John Bolton decried Giuliani effort to pressure Ukraine as ‘drug deal,’ ex-aide Fiona Hill testifies, reports say

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close John Bolton decried Giuliani effort to pressure Ukraine as 'drug deal,' ex-aide Fiona Hill testifies, reports say

Public opinion polling has shown noticeable shifts in attitudes towards impeachment, though every single poll has asked about impeachment differently. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Former national security adviser John Bolton wanted no part of what he derided as the White House’s “drug deal” to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, a former White House official told congressional investigators on Monday, according to reports of her testimony from The New York Times and NBC News.

Fiona Hill, who served as the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia, spent more than 10 hours fielding questions from three House panels behind closed doors.

Her testimony was part of an impeachment inquiry into allegations President Donald Trump used military aid as leverage to get the Ukrainians to dig into an energy company that included the former vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, on its board. Ukrainian officials have said they uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Bidens.

Hill testified that Bolton told her to inform National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg of the push for a fresh investigation by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, the reports said.

Mulvaney, Giuliani and Sondland also wanted Ukrainian officials to explore the possibility of a Ukrainian role in 2016 election interference. 

This week in the impeachment inquiry: A deadline for Rudy Giuliani, more Capitol Hill meetings

Hill said Bolton advised her to contact Eisenberg after a July 10 meeting with senior Ukrainian officials in which Sondland brought up the issue of investigations, The Wall Street Journal reported

Bolton told her he wasn’t part of “whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” unnamed sources who witnessed Hill’s testimony told the Times. He also reportedly referred to Giuliani as “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.” 

“I always liked and respected John,” Giuliani said of Bolton in response to Hill’s testimony, according to NBC News. “I’m very disappointed that his bitterness drives him to attack a friend falsely and in a very personal way. It’s really ironic that John Bolton is calling anyone else a hand grenade. When John is described by many as an atomic bomb.”

Fiona Hill: Former Trump Russia adviser Fiona Hill testifies for 10 hours in impeachment probe

Hill told lawmakers that Giuliani’s role circumvented the normal national security processes and procedures for forming foreign policy. 

The Times reported that she confronted Sondland about what she considered the rogue foreign policy he was instituting in Ukraine, which is not part of the EU and therefore not normally under the ambassador to the EU’s purview. 

Sondland told her that he was in charge of Ukraine. When she asked who had given him that authority, he replied that the president had, according to the Times. 

Sondland is expected to testify on Thursday. 

Contributing: Christal Hayes and Bart Jansen 

Trump’s conspiracy theories thrive: A young democracy battles corruption and distrust

More: Ex-Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch tells lawmakers Trump ‘pressured’ State Department to remove her

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Venus was made of lava and was not ‘Earth-like’ after all, stunning study says

Last month, new hope arrived in the form of a study that Venus may have been habitable and was home to “liquid water” for 2 to 3 billion years.

Now, that hope has seemingly been dashed, with the water replaced by lava, according to a new study.

The new research, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, suggests that the second planet in the solar system was filled with lava. This comes after they re-examined Venus’ Ovda Regio highlands plateau, which they believe was made up of basaltic lava.

“We know so little about Venus’ surface,” said the study’s co-author, Allan Treiman, in a statement. “If the Ovda Regio highlands are made of basaltic rock as is most of Venus, they were likely squeezed up to their current heights by internal forces, possibly like mountains which result from plate tectonics on Earth.”

Westlake Legal Group venus Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e

Venus has been called Earth’s “evil twin.” (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

VENUS WAS LIKELY HABITABLE FOR 3B YEARS. THEN SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS HAPPENED.

The team found that the flow seen in the Ovda Regio highlands plateau was “not granitic as was expected from its location,” heightening the chances it was made up of basalt rock.

“The high‐altitude region of Ovda Fluctus is continuous with the lower‐elevation portions: the change in radar properties does not represent different flows,” the study’s abstract states. “Outlines of Ovda Fluctus flow lobes have fractal dimensions consistent with basaltic pahoehoe lavas. The margin of Ovda Fluctus is at significantly higher elevation than its center, a characteristic seen in basalt flows on Earth, but not on more silica‐rich flows.”

Skipping to the present day, Venus, which has been called “Earth’s evil twin,” has an extremely harsh climate, with a  surface temperature of 864 degrees Fahrenheit.

The new study from Treiman and the other researchers follows one that was presented at the European Planetary Science Congress last month. This study indicated Venus may have had “liquid water” for 2 to 3 billion years until a “dramatic transformation” started happening more than 700 million years ago that completely reshaped the planet and resurfaced approximately 80 percent of it.

Westlake Legal Group venus-water Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e

Artist’s representation of Venus with water. Credit: NASA

The dramatic transformation led to a mass explosion of carbon dioxide on the planet between 700 million and 750 million years ago, an event researchers say may be linked to the volcanic activity on the planet.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group venus Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e   Westlake Legal Group venus Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e

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‘The Batman’ Just Got Its Catwoman And The Casting Is Purr-fect

Westlake Legal Group 5da59ce7200000cb0c500d02 ‘The Batman’ Just Got Its Catwoman And The Casting Is Purr-fect

The “Big Little Lies” star has been cast as Catwoman in the highly anticipated reboot “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight, Deadline reported Monday.

Kravitz joins an impressive array of actors who have played the femme fatale feline onscreen, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Anne Hathaway and Halle Berry (who got her own movie).

Kravitz beat out Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, Zazie Beetz and others for the role, according to Variety. “The Batman” is expected to fly into theaters in 2021.

The choice of Kravitz, the daughter of “The Cosby Show” actor Lisa Bonet and musician Lenny Kravitz, for Batman’s love-hate nemesis had social media buzzing.

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‘The Batman’ Just Got Its Catwoman And The Casting Is Purr-fect

Westlake Legal Group 5da59ce7200000cb0c500d02 ‘The Batman’ Just Got Its Catwoman And The Casting Is Purr-fect

The “Big Little Lies” star has been cast as Catwoman in the highly anticipated reboot “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight, Deadline reported Monday.

Kravitz joins an impressive array of actors who have played the femme fatale feline onscreen, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Anne Hathaway and Halle Berry (who got her own movie).

Kravitz beat out Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, Zazie Beetz and others for the role, according to Variety. “The Batman” is expected to fly into theaters in 2021.

The choice of Kravitz, the daughter of “The Cosby Show” actor Lisa Bonet and musician Lenny Kravitz, for Batman’s love-hate nemesis had social media buzzing.

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Non-Unanimous (Super-Majority) Verdicts

In case you’ve been living under a legal rock, let me inform you that most States and the federal courts require a unanimous 12 person jury to convict someone of a criminal offense. Now, the last couple States that allow super-majority verdicts (10-2) are being brought before the US Supreme Court on claims that a less than unanimous verdict is unconstitutional (specifically, it’s Ramos v. Louisiana). And if you look around, all the talking heads types are fairly confident that the court will take the power of determining jury use away from the States and mandate unanimous jury votes from here on out.

JURY REFORMS IN OTHER COUNTRIES


No matter how much the American legal system has come to cherish this unanimity (while at the same time doing everything it can to de facto eliminate jury trials), this is not a mandated outcome of the constitution as written. As is often the case, we can look to the development of jurisprudence in England in order to see see an equally valid version which could have developed in the United States. In Section 13 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967, later replaced by Section 17 of the Juries Act 1974, England and Wales codified conviction by super-majority. Under this system, the jury has two hours to reach a unanimous verdict under the statute and apparently ten minutes has been added for time to travel back and forth to the jury room. Crown Court Compendium Part I21-4 Majority verdicts.  If they have not reached a unanimous verdict after two hours at any time thereafter (at the judge’s discretion) they get an instruction from the judge that contains these elements:

(1) They should still, if at all possible, reach a unanimous verdict.
(2) If however they are unable to reach a unanimous verdict the time has now come when the court could accept a verdict which is not unanimous but one on which a majority of at least 10 of them agree; that is to say a majority of 10/2 or 11/1. 
Crown Court Compendium

Or if you prefer to see a version of this delivered (although fictionalized):

I would of course prefer a unanimous verdict, but I’m prepared to accept one upon which at least ten of you are agreed.
Kavanagh QC, Season 1 Episode 1, 01:32:05 (here on Amazon)

England/Wales weren’t the first to reform toward super-majority juries. In Australia the various states adopted this systemSouth Australia (1927), Tasmania (1936), Western Australia (1960), the Northern Territory (1963), Victoria (1994), and New South Wales (2006). In 2009, New Zealand adopted super-majority verdicts. Jamaica adopted them in 2010. Of course, you could complain that these are all modernish developments and be semi-correct. If you did, I’d pass on arguing whether 1927 or 1936 could be called even modernish and point you to the Scottish system which has allowed simple majority verdicts in criminal trials since the 16th century.

So, you see, the unanimous 12 person jury was not some predestined commandment based on ingrained natural law. Instead, it’s the shadow on the cave’s wall. The question is how we’ve become so rapt in our belief of the reality of the shadow.

INITIAL REJECTION OF UNANIMITY


The entirety of the mentions in the constitution having to do with criminal petit juries are:

Art. III, Sec. 2(3): The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Amendment VI:  In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law.

You’ll notice that no requirement of unanimity under either passage. So where does it come from? We know that a lot of the Bill of Rights was based upon the Virginia Declaration of Rights (incorporated as the first part of Virginia’s constitution). However, we can see that portions of the VDR were rejected.

That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man has a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.VDR Section 8.

Of particular interest to this discussion is the fact that Virginia’s requirement “without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty” was passed over in the federal version. We know that when the 6th Amendment was being put together by Congress language requiring unanimity was proposed:

The trial of all crimes . . . shall be by an impartial jury of freeholders of the vicinage, with the requisite of unanimity for conviction . . .
1 Annals of Congress 435 (1789)

Congress chose not to include the language requiring a unanimous verdict.

EX POST FACTO CLAIMS

What followed was something we see far too often. Those who couldn’t get their version into law declared that it was the law anyway. Here’s an article from Reason in favor of unanimity that does a good job of summarizing all the ex post facto claims that the 6th Amendment says what it doesn’t say – or at least encompasses unanimity by the mere mention of the word “jury.” This interpretation sweeps aside Congress’ choice not to include the requirement and the States’ ratification of that choice by adopting the amendment as written (the States initially rejected two amendments).

BLACKSTONE –  THE COMMON LAW AS CONSTITUTION?

The strongest argument for the word “jury” including in its definition unanimity is that it was that way under the common law. As with all things common law, the go to place to find this is Blackstone:

UPON theƒe accounts the trial by jury even has been, and I truƒt ever will be, looked upon as the glory of the Engliƒh law. And, if it has ƒo great an advantage over others in regulating civil property, how much muƒt that advantage be heightened, when it is applied to criminal caƒes! But this we muƒt reafer to the enƒuing book of theƒe commentaries: only obƒerving for the preƒent, that it is the moƒt tranƒcendent privilege which any ƒubject can enjoy, or with for, that he cannot be affected either in his property, his liberty, or his perƒon, but by the unanimous conƒent of twelve of his neighbours and equals. 2 Blackstone’s Commentaries Chapter 23: Of the Trial by Jury, p. 379 (Book Three).

Of course, as with all things Blackstone, this is a cherry-picked section which provides support for a favored position. Remember, this is the same book that says:

WHEN the evidence is gone through on both ƒides, the judge in the preƒence of the parties, the counƒel, and all others, ƒums up the whole to the jury; omitting all ƒuperfluous circumƒtances, obƒerving wherein the main queƒtion and principal iƒƒue lies, ƒtating what evidence has been given to fupport is, with ƒuch remarks as he thinks neceƒƒary for their direction, and giving them his opinion in matters of law ariƒing upon that evidence.

I dare a trial judge out there to sum up the evidence only including what she thinks is relevant and to tell the jury what facts she thinks they should concentrate on. You could probably put a stopwatch on how quickly an appellate court would overturn that conviction.

Anyway, Blackstone provides the best legal argument for those wanting to declare that less than unanimous verdicts were unconstitutional from the beginning.  Of course, it assumes that this part of the common law was constitutional and neither merely a law nor a part that has been ignored as not fitting in the current American legal framework. Clearly, the parts about “affected . . . in his property” and the twelve person requirement have both been found to be laws, not constitutional guarantees and this shouldn’t bode well for claiming the rest of the statement is something guaranteed.
 
Other than that those arguing unconstitutionality are on even thinner ice. Those more disposed toward legal arguments rely on Blackstone combined with the ex post facto arguments above made by those who couldn’t get Congress to include their proposed condition in the 6th Amendment.

INSTITUTIONAL GUILT
Some are making the argument that the non-unanimous rule should be done away with because of problems specific to Louisiana’s adoption of the rule. Although neutral on its face, it was adopted for racist reasons. In 1880 the US Supreme Court ruled that Blacks must be allowed to serve on juries. In that same year, Louisiana changed its laws so that conviction would be allowed at 9-3 (changed in 1974 to 10-2); this was made part of their constitution in 1898. Thus, considering its roots, it should be swept away.

MAJORITARIANISM

Unfortunately, a potentially powerful argument in favor of the unanimity requirement is that of majority rule. Of course, it’s not the job of the constitution to impose what a majority of states choose upon the minority of states, but let’s be realistic. It’s a powerful influence even when it shouldn’t be. 

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ARGUMENTS AGAINST CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED UNANIMITY

(1) CONGRESSIONAL CHOICE:  The Congress by choosing not to include it in the 6th Amendment set unanimity of jury verdicts solidly in the “law” part of American jurisprudence rather than the “constitution” part. Thus, it falls within the realm of the Congress and the law making bodies of the various states to determine whether a jury verdict should be unanimous because every single body that determines law can change or outright override the common law.

(2) CONGRESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE:  Furthermore, it was well within the knowledge of a number of the writers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that there were places in the world where a unanimous jury verdict was not required for conviction. Remember, the man who wrote the Constitution was born in Scotland. In fact, the members of Congress didn’t even have to look overseas to find this legal condition. Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina during colonial times developed jury systems that did not require unanimous verdicts (see note 45 here). The proposal for a unanimous verdict clause in the Constitution and its rejection did not occur in a vacuum.

(3) NEUTRALITY OF THE STATUTORY SCHEME:  There is nothing inherently racist, sexist, or anti-religious about a super-majority verdict. While this case and the news coverage of it have concentrated on the problematic origins of Louisiana’s and Oregon’s rules allowing super-majority verdicts, you’ll notice that none of them comment on the military’s use of majority juries. It doesn’t fit the narrative. Neither does the adoption of super-majority verdicts in many (perhaps most) of the countries which have judicial frameworks that find their roots in the same British common law system as ours sprang from. Our system is the one that’s anachronistic. And, of course, California isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of laws based on racial bigotry and it considered changing to majority verdicts three times from 1980 to 1995.

(4) TRYING TO FIX THE WRONG PROBLEM:  The problem isn’t really super-majority verdicts. The argument proceeds as such: the requirement that only ten people have to vote for a finding of guilt allows African-American votes on the jury to be silenced. If this is true, the problem isn’t in the allowance of super-majority verdicts; it’s in jury selection. 

32.18% of the residents of Louisiana are Black. As such, a twelve person jury should have at least three Black jurors and usually four. That means that a minimum of one or two Black jurors would need to vote for conviction in order to reach the super-majority. If the number of Black jurors on a jury aren’t representative then the problem isn’t the super-majority requirement – it’s the summoning and selection of jurors. Assuming bad intent, the problem is found in the biased creation of the list of potential jurors, or the over-liberal allowance of strikes for cause, or the poor enforcement of Batson. The problem here might be that none of that applies. I can’t find anything – including Ramos’ brief – that states the composition of the jury had two or less Black jurors. I would expect that to be the lead fact pointed to if it were so. It’s also of note that apparently Ramos identifies or at least was identified at trial as “Mexican or Hispanic” (Ramos’ brief) which calls into question whether the number of Black and White jurors is even relevant.

His lawyers had to work with what they had. If they couldn’t demonstrate actual prejudice they were left with an abstract argument that didn’t have any real personal emotional hooks. Obviously, they’ve done a good job to get it this far, but that doesn’t mean they’re right.

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WHY WE ARE HERE


Because the controlling precedent in this area, Apodaca v. Oregon, is weak. It’s one of those 4/4/1 opinions you only see from the Supreme Court (because nobody else could get away with it). 4 justices wanted to make the states have unanimous juries, 4 justices didn’t think the 6th Amendment required unanimity, and Justice Powell struck out on his own deciding that the 6th Amendment required unanimity but that it didn’t apply to the states. As the Supreme Court has imposed more and more of the Amendments on the States through the 14th Amendment Justice Powell’s decision has become more and more tenuous. Back in the day, the justices chose which parts of the constitution applied to the states; now they just impose everything.

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EXPECTED DISPOSITION

I expect this will be a fairly shallow opinion. That doesn’t mean it won’t be between 25 to 40 pages, replete with tons of citations, and filled with repetitive circular reasoning (this is the Supreme Court after all). It simply means that I expect the justices to impose all of their 6th Amendment precedent on the states without a serious consideration of whether the precedent of unanimous juries should stand.

Even were they to consider it, I wouldn’t expect a decision based on solid constitutional grounds. Oh, sure, there’d be lots of legalistic sophistry, but this one is a rule of five situation where the Supreme Court has already sat and would sit as a super-legislature writing laws. It would be decided on the “feels.” Instead of recognizing the Constitution as a framework that allows different possibilities within the limits laid out in the 6th amendment, the Court would again impose the unanimous jury on every state. It would do so because it feels like they ought to. The vast majority of states already do it. Louisiana, the state specifically involved in this case, has changed its law to require unanimous verdicts. Extra-legal, American institutionalized guilt would weigh in. Whatever the  legal excuse given, the feels are the real reason this Court would affirm another denial of the power of states to decide their own laws.

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WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

America is behind in the jury reform movement. While we mouth words about how sacrosanct the jury is, in reality we are making it more and more like a unicorn: a beautiful creature of myth that is never seen. Drop in on your local felony court on any given day and you’ll almost never see a jury. Juries are heavily disfavored and discouraged to the point that the defendants who demand them are usually irrational or have nothing to lose. They are inconvenient, time consuming, expensive, and take matters out of the hands of legal professionals (the unforgivable sin). They were as well in the countries who have engaged in reforms.

This is not to say that super-majority verdicts would bring back the number of juries seen in previous eras. It’s just a start, but it’s a start that has been adopted almost everywhere with a jury system similar to ours. When you’re the odd man out, it’s not a bad thing to reconsider your position. However, once the Supreme Court has declared that the states no longer have the power to reconsider, this rule will be carved in stone until the end of time unless someone amends the Constitution. Since we now seem to consider the Constitution as Holy Writ (rather than merely foundational, and changeable law) that is highly unlikely.

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Maverick McNealy shoots his best round at tournament after ‘talking to’ from LPGA golfer girlfriend

PGA rookie golfer Maverick McNealy had one of his best rounds of the season at the Houston Open on Sunday, but that was after he received some advice from his girlfriend – LPGA golfer Danielle Kang.

McNealy said after his 7-under 65, that he did well because he “got a talking-to yesterday on the phone.” He said Kang gave him advice after he shot a 73 in the third round of the Houston Open, according to PGATour.com.

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“My best round on tour,” McNealy said. “I can build on this.”

Westlake Legal Group Maverick-McNealy-Getty Maverick McNealy shoots his best round at tournament after 'talking to' from LPGA golfer girlfriend Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/golf fox news fnc/sports fnc article 7f8e1178-7931-5d39-82de-5cdfbcd732d8

Maverick McNealy of the United States plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on October 10, 2019 in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Kang is no slouch golfer. The 26-year-old has two LPGA Tour wins, including the victory at the Women’s PGA Championship in 2017. She also finished fourth in the U.S. Women’s Open in 2018.

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Kang told McNealy to do three things: “Don’t look at the leaderboards,” “be stronger and stricter with the mental scorecards” and “say two good things to himself after every shot.”

The advice helped McNealy sink five consecutive birdies. He finished tied for 17th at the tournament.

He expressed optimism for the rest of the season.

Westlake Legal Group Danielle-Kang-getty Maverick McNealy shoots his best round at tournament after 'talking to' from LPGA golfer girlfriend Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/golf fox news fnc/sports fnc article 7f8e1178-7931-5d39-82de-5cdfbcd732d8

Danielle Kang of Team USA celebrates her putt on the thirteenth green in her match against Carlota Ciganda of Team Europe during the final day singles matches of the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles on September 15, 2019 in Auchterarder, Scotland. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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“I’m really excited about the way I’m trending,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group Maverick-McNealy-Getty Maverick McNealy shoots his best round at tournament after 'talking to' from LPGA golfer girlfriend Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/golf fox news fnc/sports fnc article 7f8e1178-7931-5d39-82de-5cdfbcd732d8   Westlake Legal Group Maverick-McNealy-Getty Maverick McNealy shoots his best round at tournament after 'talking to' from LPGA golfer girlfriend Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/golf fox news fnc/sports fnc article 7f8e1178-7931-5d39-82de-5cdfbcd732d8

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com