Case Caption: People of the Virgin Islands v. Ashana PowellCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2011-0102Date: 04/23/2012Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

In an prosecution for mayhem, assault and carrying or using a dangerous weapon under 14 V.I.C. § 2251(A)(2)(B), appeal by the People of the Virgin Islands from a judgment acquitting a defendant of three criminal charges upon which a jury had returned a verdict of guilty is authorized under 4 V.I.C. § 33(d)(1). Because the judgment of acquittal was rendered after a jury verdict convicting the defendant on these charges, the Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar reversal and remand for further proceedings. Upon a review of the record and the briefing filed, as well as supplemental materials in the record transmitted, the Court is of opinion that there is reversible error in the judgment appealed from, and this is one of the rare cases in which summary disposition is warranted. It was error to grant the judgment of acquittal on the ground that this relief was mandated by what the trial judge believed to be "inconsistent" verdicts of guilt under three charged counts while jury acquitted the defendant on the three separate charges in other counts. The present Order does not address whether a judge has discretion to grant an acquittal or a new trial as a remedy for an inconsistent verdict, whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain the jury's guilty verdicts, or whether the defendant may be entitled to an acquittal or a new trial based on other grounds. Thus, the decision herein shall not preclude her from challenging the convictions, whether on remand in the Superior Court or as part of a subsequent appeal to this Court, on any other ground.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion