People v. Allen & JohnsonAnnotate this Case
A jury charged codefendants, Michael Allen and Cleamon Johnson, of the first degree murders of two victims, with multiple-murder special-circumstance findings as to both. After Allen waived his right to a jury trial, the court found that he had previously been convicted of first degree murder. The jury returned verdicts of death for both defendants. During the guilt phase deliberations, two jurors reported their concern that another juror had made up his mind before the case was submitted to the jury. After speaking with all panel members, the trial court discharged that juror for having prejudged the case, and for having relied on evidence not presented at trial. The court held that because the record did not show to a demonstrable reality that Juror No. 11 was unable to discharge his duty, the court abused its discretion by removing him. Accordingly, both guilt and penalty phase judgments must be reversed. In view of the disposition, the court need not address defendants' remaining claims.