Archive | juror discharge

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

No need to dismiss juror who learned the defendant had been shackled but did not see him shackled; Circuit declines to decide whether USSG 4B1.3 is susceptible to a vagueness challenge; affirms prosecutor’s comments on summation

In United States v. Nastri, 15-489, the Circuit held that the District Court did not err either by declining to dismiss a juror or by applying USSG 4B1.3’s criminal livelihood enhancement, and that the prosecutor’s remarks in summation were not improper.

The juror in question learned from a third party that another juror had been dismissed after seeing the defendant in shackles.  The District Court questioned the juror and the juror told the Court that the knowledge she obtained from the third person would not affect her ability to be impartial.  On these facts, absent a specific showing of harm, the defendant could not show that his right to a fair trial was prejudiced.

On summation, the prosecutor called certain defense arguments “red herrings” and “distractions.”  The defense did not object at the time, so the Circuit reviewed these comments for plain error and, after comparing the comments to …

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Categories: juror discharge, summation, vagueness

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Friday, March 20th, 2009

Seizure Disorder

United States v. Simmons, No. 07-5127-cr (2d Cir. March 17, 2009) (Pooler, Sotomayor, Katzmann, CJJ)

This appeal tackles an interesting search and seizure issue, a challenge to the discharge of a juror, and a sentencing issue. Simmons prevailed only on the sentencing claim.

The Anonymous Tip

Police officers received an radio run reporting an anonymous 911 call about an assault, with “a possible gun involved,” in progress. They sped to the address, which was in a neighborhood known for drug and gang activity, and could see no evidence of an assault. Simmons, along with two others, was inside the lobby of the building, and matched the description in the radio run. There was no indication that he was engaged in an assault.

The officers entered the lobby. As Simmons walked toward the front door, one of them ordered him to stop. He did not. The officer ordered him to stop …

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Categories: juror discharge, reasonable suspicion, Uncategorized

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Saturday, October 13th, 2007


Summary orders do not have precedential effect. But, those filed after January 1, 2007, can now be cited as long as certain citation requirements are met. See Fed.R.Ap.Proc. 32.1 and Second Circuit Local Rule 32.1. In light of this, starting October 2007, the Second Circuit Blog is introducing a new feature, called Summary Summary. In it we briefly comment on summary orders of interest.

So, here we go!

United States v. Watson, No. 05-6184-cr (October 3, 2007)(summary order). During deliberations, a juror became convinced that the government’s main witness was the same man who had raped the juror’s daughter the year before, and the court discharged her. The court of appeals held there was “good cause” under for the discharge under Fed.R.Crim.Proc 23.1.

United States v. Tyson, No. 06-1727-cr (October 12, 2007)(summary order). Tyson appealed several aspects of his sentence, including an obstruction of justice enhancement. The court held that …

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Categories: good cause, jacobson remand, juror discharge, summary order, Uncategorized

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