Lawyer May Cite Judge-Juror’s ‘Livin’ the Dream’ E-Mails in New Trial Bid
A California judge picked to serve on a jury in a murder trial was apparently excited about his stint on the other side of the bench.
Judge James Oppliger of Fresno County sent four e-mails about his jury service to a group of more than 20 judges, according to stories in the Fresno Bee, KFSN-TV and CBS47. “Here I am livin’ the dream, jury duty with Mugridge and Jenkins!” the two lawyers on the case, wrote Oppliger, who was selected to be jury foreman.
One of the judges who received the e-mails was the presiding judge, Arlan Harrell, who didn’t mention the communications until after the jury convicted the defendant of second-degree murder, the Fresno Bee says. The newspaper published a sample of the e-mails (PDF), which did not mention the evidence in the case.
Defense lawyer David Mugridge says he is weighing whether to seek a new trial based on the e-mails.