Washington v. Lupastean (Majority and Dissent)Annotate this Case
Petitioner Cristian Lupastean was convicted by a jury of driving while license suspended (DWLS), driving a commercial vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), and reckless driving. He sought a new trial because one of the seated jurors failed to disclose information that was requested in voir dire. Lupastean contended the nondisclosure impaired his ability to intelligently exercise peremptory challenges and showed that the juror had actual and implied bias. After a review of the controlling Washington case law with respect to peremptory challenges in jury trials, the Supreme Court held that a motion for a mistrial or new trial may not be granted solely because undisclosed information about a juror might have triggered a peremptory challenge. "Instead, juror nondisclosure must be treated similarly to other nonconstitutional errors that require a new trial only on an affirmative showing of prejudice. Such a showing may be made if the moving party shows that the undisclosed information would have supported a valid challenge for cause or that the nondisclosure was otherwise prejudicial to the moving party’s right to a fair trial." The Court found Lupastean did not make the necessary showing here. The Court therefore affirmed his convictions.