California, United States of America
The following excerpt is from People v. Pena, B211866, No. BA336131 (Cal. App. 2010):
In criminal cases, a jury's verdict must be unanimous. (Cal. Const., art. I, 16.) "'[W]hen the accusatory pleading charges a single criminal act and the evidence shows more than one such unlawful act, either the prosecution must select the specific act relied upon to prove the charge or the jury must be instructed... that it must unanimously agree beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant committed the same specific criminal act.' [Citation.]" (People v. Thompson (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 843, 850.)
The instruction is required in such cases only where the prosecution does not make an election. (People v. Mayer (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 403, 418.) As Pena recognizes, the election may be in the form of the prosecutor's statements and arguments to the jury. (Id. at pp. 418-419.) Here, the prosecution clearly made an election to prove the unauthorized driving provision of Vehicle Code section 10851, not the taking provision, as we have discussed at length previously. Thus, no unanimity instruction was required.
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