United States v. Depue, No. 15-10553 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
A trial judge may excuse a juror at any time for any material problem impeding fair deliberations as long as it was not due to the juror's views of the merits of the case. The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions and sentence for fraud and conspiracy in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. The panel held that Juror No. 9 was removed for reasons other than his views on the merits of the case, but rather, because he was physically unwell and could not serve with his fellow jurors. The panel also held that defendant failed to show that the district court committed plain error when it considered evidence for Guidelines-based sentencing purposes which defendant had made no effort to address.