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Tag Archives: Jury & Jurors

Criminal Practice – Jury & Jurors – Instructions – ‘Acting for the Community’ – Burden of Proof – Appeals (access required)

State v. Daniels Where the trial judge instructed the jury that it and the judge were acting for the community, this charge was not akin to an improper Golden Rule argument. The charge given in this case did not ask the jury to consider the victim’s perspective.

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Criminal Practice – Jury & Jurors – ‘Anonymous’ Jury – Murder Trial – First Impression – Constitutional – Hearsay Evidence – Murdered Witness — Conspiracy (access required)

U.S. v. Dinkins Using an ‘anonymous’ jury whose biographical information has been withheld from defense lawyers and defendants accused of drug-trafficking and the murder of government witnesses is not a reason to overturn their convictions; the 4th Circuit follows decisions by its sister circuits and provides guidelines for use of anonymous juries.

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Criminal Practice – Jury & Jurors – Intentional Concealment – Prosecution Witness in Prior Trial – Material Factor – Burden of Proof (access required)

State v. Miller During voir dire, while defendant had peremptory strikes remaining, a juror failed to respond when the trial court asked whether any member of the jury panel had been a victim of a crime in Lancaster County or had an immediate family member who was the victim of a crime. Ten months earlier, that juror had testified for the state in the Lancaster County trial of a man who was accused of stabbing the juror’s mother. In order to determine whether the juror intentionally concealed her relationship to the Lancaster County solicitor’s office, we must remand for further proceedings.

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Criminal Practice – Jury & Jurors – Misconduct – No Prejudice – Discussion with Mother (access required)

State v. Elgin Even though, during defendant’s trial, a juror engaged in misconduct by talking to her mother about the trial, (1) the juror did not tell other members of the jury that she discussed the case with her mother; (2) the trial court instructed the jury to determine defendant’s guilt or innocence based on the evidence presented at trial; and...

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Civil Practice – Jury & Jurors – Banks & Banking – Business Loan – Default — Collateral – Securities Account – Mismanagement – Setoff (access required)

Wachovia Bank National Association v. Beane The trial court’s charge and verdict form gave the jury two options: award the defendant-borrowers damages in a specific amount for the plaintiff-bank’s alleged mismanagement of defendants’ securities account (which served as collateral for the loan on which they defaulted) or find no liability and return a verdict for the bank.

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Criminal Practice – Magistrate’s Court — Jury & Jurors – Sufficient Number – 33 Potential Jurors – DUI (access required)

State v. Johnson Although only 39 of 75 summoned jurors showed up to the magistrate’s court, and even though the magistrate excused six of them, the remaining 33 potential jurors were a sufficient panel from which respondent’s jury could be selected. We reverse the circuit court and reinstate respondent’s conviction of driving under the influence.

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Criminal Practice – Criminal Sexual Conduct – Evidence – Prior Conviction – Jury & Jurors — Batson — Venue (access required)

State v. Taylor Given the similarities between defendant’s two rapes of the victim, the trial court did not err when it admitted evidence of the 1999 rape at defendant’s trial for the 1998 rape. We affirm defendant’s convictions and sentence of life without parole for criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second degree and kidnapping.

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Criminal Practice – Jury & Jurors – Spanish-Speaking Jurors – Court Translator (access required)

U.S. v. Cabrera-Beltran Spanish-speaking jurors who express doubt about abiding strictly by translations provided by official court translator during this drug conspiracy trial can be struck for cause, the 4th Circuit says; striking three jurors did not violate defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights, and defendant’s convictions for conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine and heroin are affirmed.

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Criminal Practice – Pre-Trial Statements – Jury & Jurors – Deliberations – Inadvertent Exposure (access required)

State v. Hill Where defendant’s pre-trial statements, which were not admitted into evidence, were inadvertently provided to the jury during deliberations, and where these statements contradicted defendant’s trial testimony in some respects, defendant was prejudiced by the provision of these statements to the jury, especially since the jury considered them to be important evidence. Defendant is entitled to a new trial.

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