Tuesday, April 5, 2016

MN Judge Did Not Err in Immediately Excusing Juror Drunk During Deliberations

In a decision reported March 14 the Minnesota Court of Appeals found that a MN judge did not err in not sua sponte excusing a drunk juror during deliberations who had also been disruptive during lunch at a restaurant.   The criminal defendant's counsel chose to ask the court to dismiss the jury for the day.  This occurred and the juror deliberated the next day and the defendant was found guilty and appealed.  This case also raises the question of how much inquiry the judge can make of the juror without first offering the juror the opportunity to consult an attorney before incriminating herself for contempt of court for being drunk at court.

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