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Name: Packer v. Hill
Case #: 00-57051
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/15/2002
Subsequent History: None

The denial of a petition for writ of habeas corpus was reversed where the state trial judge violated appellant’s due process rights by coercing the jury into rendering a guilty verdict. After over twenty hours of deliberation the holdout juror asked to be dismissed. The jury notified the court that it was 11 to 1 for conviction, and that further deliberation would not help them reach a verdict. The court stated in front of all the jurors that the holdout jurors did not have a right not to deliberate, and sent the jury back in. Again the holdout juror asked to be dismissed, stating that the other jurors were browbeating her for “failing to deliberate.” The juror continued to deliberate, and convicted. The habeas petition should have been granted because there was a strong likelihood that the court’s coercive statements and actions during the deliberations caused the holdout juror to change her vote.