Skip to content
Name: People v. Hampton (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 965
Case #: A165957
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/25/2023

Substitute trial judge did not engage in improper conduct or violate defendant’s right to a fair trial by consulting with the prior judge about her ruling on remote jury deliberations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hampton was convicted of felony offenses after robbing a restaurant. At his trial, the first judge made rulings on whether jurors would be permitted to deliberate remotely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was then replaced due to a personal emergency. During deliberations, after all the alternate jurors had already been seated on the jury, a juror needed to quarantine. The substitute judge consulted with…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Doane
Case #: A153709
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/22/2021

Conviction reversed where prosecutor misstated the law by telling the jury that "innocence" as used in the instruction on circumstantial evidence (CALCRIM No. 224) refers to actual innocence, not guilt of a lesser included offense. Defendant Doane lost control of his truck and collided head-on with a vehicle, killing the driver. He fled on foot and was apprehended the following day. A jury convicted him of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and a separate count of leaving the scene of an accident. He appealed. Held: Gross vehicular manslaughter conviction reversed. The jury was instructed under CALCRIM No. 224: "If…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Salinas-Jacobo
Case #: A152729
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/28/2019

Trial court abused its discretion in discharging a holdout juror because the alleged failures to perform the juror's duty were not shown as a "demonstrable reality." Defendant was charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and other DUI offenses after a collision with two cars. Over days of deliberations, the jury foreperson sent several notes to the court indicating a juror was misapplying the reasonable doubt standard and that the jury could not reach a consensus on the murder and manslaughter charges. After further instructing the jury to continue deliberations, the court eventually questioned three jurors individually. The court…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Salinas-Jacobo
Case #: A152729
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/28/2019

Trial court abused its discretion in discharging a holdout juror because the alleged failures to perform the juror's duty were not shown as a "demonstrable reality." Defendant was charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and other DUI offenses after a collision with two cars. Over days of deliberations, the jury foreperson sent several notes to the court indicating a juror was misapplying the reasonable doubt standard and that the jury could not reach a consensus on the murder and manslaughter charges. After further instructing the jury to continue deliberations, the court eventually questioned three jurors individually. The court…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Hem
Case #: C086016
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/11/2019

After receiving information of potential jury misconduct during deliberations, the trial court was required to inquire of the jurors to determine the scope of the misconduct. Hem was charged with first degree murder after shooting his brother. It was undisputed at trial that both Hem and his brother were armed, there was an argument, and Hem shot and killed his brother. While the jury was deliberating, defense counsel moved for a mistrial based on jury misconduct because a colleague overheard four jurors in the hallway discussing the case and potentially coming to a compromise with other jurors to avoid letting…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Russell
Case #: E064121
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/17/2017

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying request for juror's personal contact information (Code Civ. Proc., § 237) where juror failed to respond to repeated attempts to contact her. Following defendant's jury conviction, defense counsel spoke with a juror (TJ11) who stated that, during deliberations, she was led to believe that a unanimous verdict was not required on all counts. TJ11 further indicated that another juror had brought in outside information, including Internet research and biblical quotes, which he shared with her in order to persuade her during deliberations. Based on this information, defendant filed a posttrial motion…

View Full Summary
Name: United States v. Martinez
Case #: 15-50205
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 03/10/2017

District court violated the Sixth Amendment by responding to a jury question without first consulting defense counsel. Martinez was tried for illegal reentry into the United States. There was an allegation that he had been removed subsequent to December 3, 2010, which increased the statutory maximum sentence from 2 years to 20. During deliberations, the jury sent a question concerning the significance of the December 3, 2010 date. Without consulting counsel, the judge responded that it was a matter for the court to consider, not the jury. The jury convicted Martinez and he appealed, challenging the court's decision to answer…

View Full Summary
Name: Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado
Case #: 15-606
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 02/09/2017

The Sixth Amendment requires an exception to the "no-impeachment" rule for jury deliberations where a juror's statements indicate that racial animus was a significant motivating factor in his or her finding of guilt. After a Colorado jury returned guilty verdicts against Pena-Rodriguez, two jurors approached his trial attorney to report that a third juror had made statements during deliberations reflecting that his guilty vote was the product of racial animus. The trial court denied Pena-Rodriguez's motion for a new trial, citing the state's no-impeachment rule, which generally prohibits a juror from testifying as to statements made during deliberations in a…

View Full Summary
Name: Williams v. Johnson
Case #: 07-56127
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/27/2016

Under AEDPA, California Court of Appeal did not unreasonably approve the dismissal of a holdout juror for bias. During Williams' trial for felony murder, the trial court dismissed a holdout juror, finding that the juror was biased. An alternate juror was seated and Williams was convicted. On appeal, Williams argued the dismissal of the holdout juror violated her Sixth Amendment rights and a state statute. The Court of Appeal affirmed and the California Supreme Court denied review. Williams sought habeas relief in the California courts and was unsuccessful. She filed a federal habeas petition and her case eventually…

View Full Summary
Name: Williams v. Swarthout
Case #: 11-57255
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/23/2014

Trial court's accidental pretrial instruction that defendant had pled guilty was prejudicial error under the Sixth Amendment despite court's subsequent corrective instructions. While giving pretrial instructions to the jury, the trial court mistakenly stated, "I will now explain the presumption of innocence . . . . The defendant has pleaded guilty to the charges." Counsel did not object and the trial continued. When the jury began deliberations, it sent the court a note asking whether Williams had actually pled guilty. The court explained its mistake to the jury and asked if any of the jurors thought they could not deliver…

View Full Summary