Monday, August 07, 2006

US v. Decoud, No. 04-50318 (8-2-06). A divided 9th panel (Callahan) affirms a drug conspiracy conviction. A wide range of challenges are quickly dealt with, the most interesting being the allowance of an agent to testify about drug "codes." the clash in the case comes over the dismissal of a juror, once deliberations had begun, because of her strong religious beliefs (scripture, Holy Ghost, spirit were all mentioned). She was also the only African American on the jury and two of the defendants were African American. the court asked if there was undue pressure, and she said "no." Later, after the conviction, the juror met a sister of one of the defendants at a bank, and was told that racial prejudice was at play. the defendants had asked for a hearing, which the court denied. The 9th affirmed the denial, holding that the court had inquired about pressure, and the colloquy excusing her was satisfactory. Ferguson, dissenting, would have a hearing. the allegations of racial bias has no place in the jury room, and any inkling of it should be explored. Here, the juror subsequently alluded to racial pressure being place don her, and comments made, and this should be explored.


Post a Comment

<< Home