McDaniel v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Appellant Nathan McDaniel, Jr. was convicted of murder arising from a beating death. During the trial, Appellant moved to strike two jurors for cause. One juror had worked with the victim's wife and the other juror had worked with the victim, and neither juror could say unequivocally that they could be fair and impartial in their deliberations. Appellant's motion was denied. The defense then used one of its peremptory strikes to strike the jurors. Appellant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to strike the jurors for cause. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that (1) a trial court abuses its discretion when it seats a juror who is truly equivocal with regard to his or her ability to render an impartial judgment; and (2) given the equivocal responses provided by both jurors in this case, the trial court abused its discretion when it overruled Appellant's motion to strike for cause.