FEBRUARY 17, 2014
Last week, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued an opinion in Commonwealth v. Garcia that reversed a jury’s guilty verdict on the grounds that the judge did not follow appropriate procedures in discharging a juror during deliberations.
The defendant was charged with armed robbery, and the case was tried in superior court. About approximately three hours of deliberating, the jury sent a note to the judge, stating that they had not been able to come to a unanimous decision. The judge did not believe that the jury had deliberated long enough to show a deadlock, and instructed the jury to resume deliberations the following day.