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Name: Caliendo v. Warden
Case #: 01-56946
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/05/2004
Subsequent History: Cert. den. 10/12/04

In an opinion filed on January 9, 2004, the Ninth Circuit held that the prosecution had effectively rebutted the presumption of prejudice where a police officer who provided crucial evidence against the defendant engaged in a twenty-minute conversation with three jurors about matters unrelated to the case. The court withdrew that opinion on March 29, 2004, and issued a new opinion that again held that the California Court of Appeal erred in failing to apply a presumption of prejudice in considering whether a conversation between jurors and a major witness deprived the defendant of a fair trial. In the new opinion, however, the court held that the government had failed to clearly establish that the improper conversation did not affect the verdict by bolstering the officer’s credibility or creating juror empathy; thus, the error required reversal.