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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27483
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am currently in deliberations on a criminal case. One of

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I am currently in deliberations on a criminal case. One of the jurors seems to be having some kind of emotional or mental issues. For example, she was trembling when she was stating her suspicions of the D.A., doesn't believe the witnesses, suspects that wiretaps were manipulated, doesn't agree with the law as it is written though the judge was verrrrry clear on it. Then she took out her chap stick and went over and over her lips while continuing to tremble and turn red in her neck. She hollered at another juror and caused her to actually cry. Can we communicate to the judge in some way if this behavior continues that this juror might not be fit to participate? It seems that she is steadfastedly (a word?) attempting to jeopardize this entire case which has already taken 7 weeks. Is there any recourse or does this simply wind up in being a hung jury since 11 of 12 of us are in agreement. Thanks.

Yes, absolutely. If you are deliberating and feel that one of the jurors is unstable and her behavior is subverting the deliberation process, you can have the foreman send a note out to the judge that he needs to have a word with him about one of the jurors.

If you're not deliberating yet but this is going on in the jury room you can tell one of the court officers that you need to talk to the judge. The judge will get hold of the defense attorney and the DA and will talk to you in chambers. If the judge agrees that it sounds as if there is a problem, he will interview the juror and make his own determination as to whether or not it is necessary to replace the juror with an alternate.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I thought we would wind up surely with a hung jury because of all of the fabrications and fantasies that this woman is designing. She thinks the D.A. is political; that the police are just looking for promotions; etc. I am not a doctor nor am I an expert, but her reactions and interactions seem somewhat exaggerated and even imaginary. Thank you again. That it is a big help to know that if her behavior persists or rises more to becoming subverting activity that we may have a way to communicate that before it is too late.

Thank you!

I had it happen in one of my own trials where one juror was particularly difficult and was threatening other jurors. Sometimes things like this happens. We wouldn't have known it if they hadn't sent word out!