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Name: Estrada v. Scribner
Case #: 06-55013
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/23/2008

Juror affidavits detailing jury discussions are admissible evidence. The appellate court affirmed the district court’s denial of a habeas corpus petition challenging a conviction for second degree murder and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent. It affirmed the district court’s determination that under Federal Rules of Evidence 606(b) it could not consider certain portions of the jurors’ affidavits proffered by the petitioner because they addressed the subjective effect of evidence on particular jurors, but that it could consider juror testimony about extrinsic evidence improperly brought to the jury’s attention. The panel held that the district court and the state courts erred in finding inadmissable portions of declarations discussing a juror’s introduction of his mother’s murder into sentencing discussions because the mother’s murder became extrinsic evidence. The court held that the petitioner did not suffer prejudice from juror misconduct in discussing the unrelated murder and in other improper sentencing discussion. It held that the state trial court did not make an unreasonable determination of fact in finding that two jurors were not actually biased, and that juror bias could not be presumed under the circumstances of this case.