[Orin Kerr, December 23, 2008 at 11:40am] Trackbacks
Motion for New Trial After Sequestered Jurors Allegedly Had Sex:
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Eight years ago, a juror in a capital murder trial notified the judge that two other jurors had sex while sequestered — and that two sheriff's deputies guarding them had sex too.As long as the jurors weren't discussing the case with each other, I would think this is okay.
Now the man convicted of second-degree murder in that case is demanding a new trial on a claim that his lawyers did not do enough to persuade the judge that the escapades tainted the verdict.
The issue is back before St. Louis Circuit Judge Julian Bush, who presided over the 2000 trial of Roberto Dunn, now 34, who was convicted of killing his girlfriend's mother.
In August 2000, about two weeks after the conviction, Bush got a letter from a juror making the accusations. "Sexual liberties by deputy sheriffs were rampant also," the letter read.
. . .
In her letter, [the juror] accused two jurors of having sex with each other during two evenings at a hotel where the panel stayed. She said jurors believed the two sheriff's deputies assigned to the case were having sex with each other while on duty at the hotel.
"Acts of sex and insubordination were scandalous and unspeakable …" Thompson wrote. She testified in the recent hearing that she heard sexual noises coming from the next hotel room.