Alternate Juror for Intoxication Manslaughter Trial
Today our office is continuing in the second week of an intoxication manslaughter trial in Bexar County, Texas. However, we’ll be continuing this case using our alternate juror.
We selected an alternate juror because this trial is expected to last 3 weeks and you never know when someone will become ill or have a problem develop. If you don’t have 12 jurors, a mistrial must be declared.
In our case, attorney Demetrio Duarte, Jr. needed to move for a juror to be removed because he observed a juror falling asleep during the scientific testimony. The juror would stay awake for fact witnesses, but hearing about math and science put the juror to sleep.
It was revealed that the juror was trying to be on jury duty during the day and then work at night. This left little time to sleep. On day five of trial, the sleeping juror needed to be removed.
Trial lawyers need to be vigilant of all kinds of problems in a case. Those vary from legal issues, to fact issues, logistics at trial, compiling exhibits and watching the jury to see how they respond to different witnesses. Here, watching the jury was important to insuring our client receives a fair trial by a fair and impartial jury that considers all of the evidence - - not just the evidence a juror hears when the juror is awake.