In re Jones, No. 19–0260 (Tex. 2020)
Nature of Case: Petitioner was found by a jury to be a sexually violent predator and indefinitely committed pursuant to Texas law. He appealed and argued that it was error for the trial court to not submit a requested instruction, to wit: that the jury need not reach a unanimous verdict to find for the Petitioner. The Texas Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s finding, and the state sought review from the Texas Supreme Court.
Holding: The Texas Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals, and reinstated the judgment of the trial court. While the Court agreed that it was error for the instruction informing the jury that they did not need to reach unanimous agreement to find for the Petitioner, the Petitioner could not demonstrate that this error prejudiced him, and thus the error was harmless.