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California Supreme Court To Weigh Whether Replacing Jurors Mid-Trial Amounts to Double Jeopardy


— February 1, 2003

The jury in People v. Hernandez convicted Manuel Hernandez of 22 felony counts of sexual abuse against his own daughter, starting when she was only nine. But the trial judge had replaced a juror with an alternate mid-trial after the juror complained that she was “bothered by the prosecutor’s tone and believed the judge was biased against the defense.” When Hernandez appealed his conviction, the reviewing court found that the trial judge lacked “good cause” for replacing the juror, and that doing so had subjected Hernandez to double jeopardy. They set him free. Now the state Supreme Court is reviewing the case, and may issue an opinion outlining the circumstances in which jury members may be excused and replaced, and whether it constitutes double jeopardy. Read an article about it here.


The jury in People v. Hernandez convicted Manuel Hernandez of 22 felony counts of sexual abuse against his own daughter, starting when she was only nine. But the trial judge had replaced a juror with an alternate mid-trial after the juror complained that she was “bothered by the prosecutor’s tone and believed the judge was biased against the defense.” When Hernandez appealed his conviction, the reviewing court found that the trial judge lacked “good cause” for replacing the juror, and that doing so had subjected Hernandez to double jeopardy. They set him free. Now the state Supreme Court is reviewing the case, and may issue an opinion outlining the circumstances in which jury members may be excused and replaced, and whether it constitutes double jeopardy. Read an article about it here.

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