People v. Salinas-JacoboAnnotate this Case
Following a murder trial, the foreperson wrote a note stating the jury was deadlocked on count 2, and “[f]rustrations are running high.” A second note stated, “I do not feel the dissenting juror is basing their dissent on reasonable doubt.” In subsequent questioning, the foreperson and Juror 10 indicated dissatisfaction with Juror 11. The judge questioned and discharged Juror 11, under Penal Code section 1089. The court of appeal reversed, noting the risk to a defendant’s right to due process and a fair trial by an unbiased jury. A trial court must “rely on evidence, that in light of the entire record, supports its conclusions” that a juror was actually unable to perform. Juror 11 “fail[ed] to agree with the majority of other jurors [and] persist[ed] in expressing doubts about the sufficiency of the evidence in support of the majority view” and had trouble “articulat[ing] the exact basis for disagreement after a complicated trial,” but these circumstances do not amount to juror misconduct. It is not a ground to discharge a juror because he “relies on faulty logic or analysis” or because he “does not deliberate well or skillfully.” The foreperson and Juror 10 did not claim that Juror 11 said he intended to disregard the court’s instructions or he disagreed with the law as instructed by the court.