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San Francisco DUI Attorney: Case Law Blog - Juror Discharge

Posted on in DUI

Commonwealth v. Cameron, Slip Copy, 2011 WL 3341091 (Table) (Mass.App.Ct.)

Where a juror acknowledged a language problem in understanding deliberations, and the problem was evidenced on the record as required, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in removing the juror during deliberations.

The normal rule in MA following a juror discharge is that the jury is to be instructed “not only to begin deliberations anew ... but also that the reason for discharge is entirely personal and has nothing to do with the discharged juror's views on the case or his relationship with his fellow jurors.” Commonwealth v. Connor, 392 Mass. at 845–846.

Because the language problem was the obvious reason in this instance, it was permissible to dispense with requirement of advising the panel as to the reason for the discharge.

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