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Name: People v. Braxton
Case #: A096083
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/10/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 4/23/03

At sentencing on his conviction for attempted murder, appellant’s counsel had three affidavits from jurors indicating possible misconduct, but had not filed a written motion. The court denied him the opportunity to make an oral motion for new trial, stating that a motion would have to be made in writing. The appellate court here reversed. Appellant made a timely motion prior to the pronouncement of judgment, specifically articulated the grounds for the motion, and had three juror declarations to support the motion. The court failed to exercise its discretion, but based its denial on the mistaken belief that a written motion was required. Appellant was not permitted to create a record that would permit a reviewing court to measure the harm of that error, and therefore a new trial was required.