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Name: People v. Cleveland
Case #: S078537
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/07/2001
Subsequent History: None

The trial court abused its discretion where it removed a juror for failing to deliberate where the record did not demonstrate that the juror was failing to deliberate, but that he viewed the evidence differently than the rest of the jury. The court may not dismiss a juror during deliberations because that juror harbors doubts about the sufficiency of the evidence. However, a court may conduct whatever inquiry is necessary in order to determine whether grounds exist to discharge the juror if it appears as a “demonstrable reality” that the juror is unable or unwilling to deliberate. Here, it was possible that the juror employed faulty logic and reached an “incorrect” result, given the evidence, but it cannot be said that he was refusing to deliberate. He engaged in the deliberative process by listening to other jurors and by attempting to explain his views. A juror who participates in deliberations for a reasonable period of time may not be discharged for refusing to deliberate simply because the juror expresses the belief that his views will not be altered by further discussion.