Monday, February 10, 2014

Smith v. Swarthout, No. 11-17116 (2-10-14)(Alarcon with Tallman and Ikuta).
In a domestic abuse case (corporal injury to a spouse), the 9th affirmed the denial of a petition raising juror bias, misconduct and other errors.  There was no doubt of the juror misconduct -- research was conducted by him.  He also kept the material fact that he knew the victim, who lived close to the juror's daughter and her husband.  The state courts however found that he could be fair (!).  The courts also held that the outside research occurred after verdicts had been reached on some counts, and those counts remain.  The 9th followed AEDPA deference and affirmed.  The 9th also held that the confusion by one juror as to how he voted, discovered in polling, was cleared up by the court.  Oh yes, that misbehaving juror -- he was a retired New York City police officer.


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