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NY Top Court Upholds Murder Conviction Despite Alleged Sleeping Juror

Posted Oct 31, 2012 7:16 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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New York’s highest court has ruled a trial judge didn’t abuse her discretion when she refused to dismiss a juror accused of falling asleep during deliberations in a murder trial.

The New York Court of Appeals upheld the second-degree murder conviction of Carlos Herring, convicted for a fatal shooting in 2006 outside a nightclub, the Associated Press and Reuters report.

The juror, identified as “Juror 11,” was accused of sleeping through deliberations by another juror, according to the opinion (PDF). When questioned by the judge, Juror 11 denied sleeping and said she was ready, willing and able to serve.

“While there are circumstances where a juror's behavior during deliberations renders that juror grossly unqualified,” the court said, “in this situation the trial judge did not abuse her discretion when she decided that Juror 11 was fit to serve on the jury.”

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