Ramirez v. State

Defendant was charged with murder and criminal gang activity. During trial, the trial court excused a juror from the jury after she disclosed that she had a frightening experience at her apartment and that she could not render an impartial verdict. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion for a mistrial, concluding that the juror’s incident was unrelated to Defendant’s case and that the jury could remain impartial. The jury subsequently found Defendant guilty of murder and criminal gang activity. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion for a mistrial, holding (1) defendants are entitled to a rebuttable presumption of prejudice when they can show by a preponderance of the evidence that an unauthorized, extra-judicial contact or communication with jurors occurred and that the contact or communication pertained to the matter before the jury; and (2) Defendant in this case was not entitled to the presumption of prejudice because he failed to prove that the juror’s extraneous contact and communications related to his case. View "Ramirez v. State" on Justia Law