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Name: Sanders v. Lamarque
Case #: 02-56893
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 02/03/2004
Subsequent History: None

On the third day of deliberations in appellant’s trial, the jury sent the trial court a note concerning one juror who was not deliberating. The court conducted interviews and discovered that the jury was split 11 to 1 for conviction, and the juror in question was the lone holdout. The trial judge found that the holdout juror was not prejudiced and should not be removed because of bias or inability to follow instructions. However, the court found that the juror had not been entirely honest during voir dire about her son being involved in a gang, and replaced the juror with an alternate. The federal district court granted a writ of habeas corpus, and the state appealed. The appellate court here affirmed. The district court properly concluded that the trial court made an objectively unreasonable determination of the relevant facts. The trial court committed constitutional error when it dismissed the lone holdout juror. The dismissal was based on the prosecutor’s representation that he would have dismissed the juror if he had found out during voir dire what was later learned regarding gang affiliation. However, the trial court may not remove a juror to accomodate the prosecution’s desire to exercise a peremptory challenge after the jury has been impaneled. The record further did not support a finding of bias.