Judgement Notwithstanding the Verdict

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Judgement notwithstanding the Verdict, sometimes shortened to JNOV, refers to a motion filed after a jury verdict directing the judge to aquit the defendant. A judge may reverse a jury verdict if they believe that no reasonable jury could have reached the verdict. Typically, the burden is very high on the defendant to show that no reaosnable jury could have reached the verdict and judges rarely issue JNOVs in criminal cases. JNOV is most likely to occur if the prosecution enters no evidence on an essential element of the crime and the jury still returns a guilty verdict. The prosecutor may appeal the JNOV.

A related concept in criminal law is the writ of error coram nobis.

The pricipal of double jeopardy prevents judges from reversing "not guilty" verdicts by juries.

See Appeals