Hurst v. Joyner, No. 13-6 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a death row inmate, appealed the district court's denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2254. Petitioner alleged that his Sixth Amendment rights to an impartial jury and to be confronted with the witnesses against him were violated by an extraneous communication between a juror and her father during the penalty phase of his capital murder trial. The court reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on the issue of whether the communication between a juror and her father about a Bible verse had a substantial and injurious effect or influence in determining the jury's verdict.