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Name: People v. Cottle
Case #: S126550
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/27/2006
Summary

Once a jury has been impaneled, the trial court lacks discretion to reopen jury selection even where the alternate jurors have not yet been sworn. After twelve jurors had been sworn, juror number twelve expressed concern about his ability to fairly judge the facts. The trial court questioned the juror but denied a defense motion to dismiss the juror for cause, holding that because the jury had been sworn, the defense was not entitled to make such a motion . The appellate court reversed, relying on People v. Armendariz (1984) 37 Cal.3d 573. The California Supreme Court reversed the court of appeal, holding that the Trial Jury Selection Act of 1988 repealed the statutory basis of Armendariz. Current law holds that once twelve jurors are sworn, the court lacks authority to reopen jury selection, regardless of whether alternates have been sworn.