Friday, March 1, 2013

Don’t sleep on the chance to object to a sleeping juror remaining on the panel (3 1 2013)

A Dayton Defense Lawyer noticed that a juror was sleeping in the courtroom of Judge Christopher D. Roberts in the Dayton Municipal Court. The Dayton Criminal Defense Attorney brought it to the judge’s attention and he was backed up in his claim by the Bailiff and Court Reporter. Apparently the juror was sleeping for most of the afternoon session. The Dayton Defense Lawyer did not request to have the juror removed at that time, and the judge let the juror stay on the case. The Dayton Defense Lawyer then moved to have the juror removed just before final instructions were given to the jury (the prosecutor and trial judge do not agree this happened). The judge overruled the request and let the juror stay on the panel. On appeal, the defendant argued that the judge erred in letting the juror who missed part of the trial to stay on the jury. The Court of Appeals disagreed. The Appeals Court ruled that if the defendant wanted the juror off the jury, a motion had to be made at the time the issue came up. The trial judge has broad discretion in handling a sleeping juror and that discretion was not abused here. State v. Harris, 2013-Ohio-716.

Contact me today if you need a Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer for your trial, appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site and filling in the "contact me" form.

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