Trials & Litigation

Juror Says He Drank Before DUI Death Case Verdict to Examine Mindset of Accused; Defense Cries Foul


Attention trial attorneys: A new prohibition may need to be added to the ever-lengthening list of potential misconduct against which jurors should be cautioned in advance of deliberations.

If you are hearing a drunken-driving case, don’t overserve yourself in an effort to duplicate the defendant’s state of mind.

That is what juror Dennis DeMartin says he did, the night before a verdict was reached in a high-profile South Florida manslaughter case in which the well-to-do defendant, John Goodman, was accused of driving under the influence. Now Goodman’s defense team is seeking to have the guilty verdict overturned, on the basis of claimed juror misconduct, according to the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

DeMartin’s drinking came to the attention of defense counsel because he self-published a book about the trial in which he describes it.

“It was bothering me that if there was proof that if Mr. Goodman only had 3 or 4 drinks, how drunk would he be? How drunk would I be?” wrote DeMartin. “I decided to see.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Polo Mogul Who Adopted Adult Gal Pal Paid $46M to End Crash Case, Says ‘Wealth Bias’ Put Him in Jail”

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