IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
IN AND FOR SUSSEX COUNTY
STATE OF DELAWARE
) ID 0804009949
Upon Defendant’s Motion to Compel. Denied.
October 16, 2009
November 3, 2009
In this capital murder case, Defendant Millard E. Price has moved for an order
compelling the State to provide Defendant with equal access to criminal records of the jury
array or to preclude the State from possessing such records during jury selection. The State
opposes the motion, arguing that Defendant has not shown that he will suffer any prejudice
from not having the records because he can ask questions to the potential jurors about their
involvement with crime.
By statute, Defendant is barred from having access to a juror’s criminal history:
Notwithstanding any law or court rule to the contrary, the dissemination to the
defendant or defense attorney in a criminal case of criminal history record
information pertaining to any juror in such case is prohibited.1
Title 11 Del. C. § 8513 (g) (2007).
Despite the clarity of § 8513 (g), Defendant argues that Charbonneau v. State
indicated that a due process violation could be made on the proper showing. Yet
Charbonneau found that the defendant’s due process rights were not violated by the State’s
exclusive possession of the jurors’ criminal information.2 The Court also stated that voir dire
questions about jurors’ involvement in past crimes could be asked prior to trial. 3 A similar
result was reached in McBride v. State.4
These principles still govern the issue raised in Defendant’s motion to compel.
Because Defendant will have the opportunity during voir dire to ask necessary questions,
the Court finds that Defendant has not shown that his due process or equal protection rights
will be denied by the State’s exclusive possession of the jurors’ criminal records.
For these reasons, Defendant’s motion to compel is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Richard F. Stokes, Judge
Original to Prothonotary
Paula T. Ryan, Esquire
John Donahue, Esquire
Stephanie Tsantes, Esquire
John Daniello, Esquire
Joseph A. Hurley, Esquire
904 A.2d 295, 319 (Del. 2006).
477 A.2d 174 (Del. 1984).