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Name: People v. Karapetyan
Case #: B153751
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 02/25/2003
Subsequent History: none

On the fifth day of jury deliberations following appellant’s trial for murder, the court removed a juror who had been the subject of a complaint by several other jurors who claimed that he was not deliberating. The juror said he “did not want to be a part of any lynch mob” and was glad the case was not a death penalty case because he could not be a part of that. He also said he wanted to go to a library and look in a dictionary (though he did not do so). The real problem was that after five days of a “free wheeling discussion” the jury was hung 11 to 1 for conviction, and the juror refused to change his mind. Therefore, the court committed reversible error by removing him. J. Woods dissented. The jury was deadlocked on a nonissue in the case, and given proper instructions, the lone holdout juror would have convicted. Therefore, replacement of the juror was not prejudicial.