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Name: People v. Parker
Case #: E021559
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/12/2002
Subsequent History: Ordered not published. As corrected 2/21/02. Rev. denied, op. withdrawn by order of court 5/15/02.
Summary

During jury deliberations at appellant’s trial for special circumstance murder, the foreperson sent a note to the judge which stated that Juror No. 1 was not following instructions and the jury had reached an impasse. The trial court investigated further, and requested that the jury continue deliberations. The jury again announced that it had deadlocked and that further deliberations would not do any good. One juror stated that the deadlock was because Juror No. 1 was not following the instructions and had stated that she had considered the penalty involved. The trial court dismissed Juror No. 1 and returned the jury for further deliberations. The appellate court here found that the trial court’s action and instruction were not coercive under the circumstances. It was not improper to send the jury back for additional deliberations, and the trial court reminded the jurors that they had a right to their individual opinions. Further, it was not improper to have dismissed Juror No. 1 because there was substantial evidence that she had been swayed by sympathy and consideration of the penalty faced. There was no misconduct where Juror No. 8 brought pictures of the victims into the jury room and reminded the juror not to forget them. It was not improper to display the pictures nor to remind the jury of their duty to “determine the truth about how the victims died.” J. Gaut dissented. There was insufficient evidence that the discharged juror failed to deliberate.