US v. Villar, No. 08-1154
In proceedings arising after defense counsel in a criminal matter received an e-mail from a juror containing ethnically-biased statements, an order denying defendant's motion to make an inquiry into the validity of the verdict is reversed and the matter remanded where: 1) although the trial court correctly found that Rule of Evidence 606(b) precludes inquiry into juror prejudice; 2) a court has the discretion to conduct such an inquiry under the Sixth Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire
Decided November 10, 2009
Opinion by Saris, District Judge
For Appellant: Mark L. Stevens
For Appellee: Aixa Maldonado-Quiñones, Assistant United States Attorney, Michael J. Gunnison, Acting United States Attorney