Inconsistent Verdict Rule In Georgia

In Milam v. State, 255 Ga. 560, 562 (2) (341 S.E.2d 216) (1986), the Supreme Court of Georgia rejected the inconsistent verdict rule in criminal cases. Milam involved a criminal defendant charged with two murders committed at the same time. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity as to one murder, and guilty but mentally ill as to the other murder. The Supreme Court affirmed, ruling that there was no error inherent in the inconsistency between the conviction and acquittal. The Milam ruling stands for the proposition that a defendant cannot attack as inconsistent a jury verdict of guilty on one count and not guilty on a different count. Likewise, virtually all other Georgia cases affirming Georgia's abolition of the inconsistent verdict rule involve jury verdicts of guilty and not guilty that are alleged to be inconsistent. These cases are in accordance with the principle that it is not generally within the trial court's power to make inquiries into the jury's deliberations, or to speculate about the reasons for any inconsistency between guilty and not guilty verdicts.Dumas v. State, 266 Ga. 797, 799 (2) (471 S.E.2d 508) (1996).