Lawyer Asks for Juror Poll to Find Out if Grumpiness Influenced Murder Verdict
Posted Oct 6, 2011 4:30 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Florida assistant public defender is asking a judge to poll jurors to determine whether lengthy deliberations contributed to a mood of grumpiness that influenced a guilty verdict in an Orange County murder trial.
Assistant public defender Jamie David Parker Kane says in his pleadings that deliberations ended after 10 p.m. on March 30, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He suggests jurors may have been hungry, in need of medication, and grumpy. Jurors returned for deliberations the next day and convicted his client, Devonte Walker, of murder and attempted armed robbery.
Kane submitted an affidavit by a court deputy who escorted a diabetic juror from the courthouse after the deliberations, the story says. "The juror complained that she, along with other members of the jury, were angry that they had not been fed," the deputy said. "And that this had caused the panel to be 'tired and grumpy.' "
The newspaper interviewed three jurors, including one with diabetes, who said the long deliberations did not influence their verdict. One juror recalled eating sandwiches during the evening deliberations.
The judge who presided in the trial agreed to question the jurors, then recused himself from the case because he could become a witness. The case has been reassigned to a new judge.
Hat tip to Pat's Papers.