Juror’s Comment About Defense Lawyers Justified Mistrial, Appeals Court Says
A juror’s reported comment that “defense attorneys can be a––holes” is reason enough to vacate a cocaine conviction, according to a New Jersey appeals court.
The appeals court upheld Judge John Almeida’s decision to declare a mistrial, the New Jersey Law Journal reports.
A police officer who was a prosecution witness in the case said the juror made the comment about defense lawyers in the elevator, the opinion says. The officer told a detective in the prosecutor’s office, who waited until after the verdict to tell the prosecutor, who in turn notified the judge.
For his part, the juror denied making the comment. Instead, the juror said he opined that the public defender was “kind of crazy” and said he did not share his opinion with other jurors.