jury verdict impeachment

Is anybody familiar with the case in D.C. involving the driver who killed a rollerblader in a hit in run accident? 11 of 12 jurors were ready to convict for second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter but one juror apparently physically threatened the others if they didn’t agree to negligent homicide, a lesser charge. The other jurors changed their ruling to get away from the guy. The story can be found here: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1131-2000May24.html

My question is: how rare is a jury verdict ‘impeachment’?

The article does state that an “impeachment” of a jury verdict is so unusual that no one keeps track of it.

I imagine the lawyers on this board have probably read about the one or two cases that apply in this situation.

Maybe the question should be: ‘What would cause a jury verdict impeachment’? And that should be hit AND run.

I believe a jury’s verdict can only be impeached if someone can prove that a juror used prejudicial extraneous material during the deliberations.

From what I’ve read, Linda Tripp had an immunity deal from Ken Starr covering any laws she might have broken recording Monica the Suction Machine. Because of this, the judge threw out all of the state’s evidence that was derived from the Starr report. This happened to be the entire case, so the state had no choice but to drop charges. I’m glad Tripp is getting off. After all, what would you do if someone was continuously asking you to lie to a judge? Getting evidence of MtSM suborning perjury must have seemed like a pretty damn good idea at the time.

And how does this fact deals with the subject of jury verdict impeachment???

Yes, I’m in the D.C. area and read all about it – makes you sick, doesn’t it? BUT, the question is, as the W. Post article noted, why in the hell didn’t the jury foreman notify the judge about the problem before caving into that guy? The judge probably would have thrown him off the jury and replaced him with an alternate and then (maybe) justice would have been done.

There’s a case going on now in British Columbia that raises this issue. Several fellows were on trial, I think for murder (drug-related), but were acquitted. After the acquittal, it came out that one of the jurors had been having an affair with one of the accused (he was out on bail during the trial).

The juror, Gillian Guess, was found guilty of obstruction of justice. She is appealling her conviction, aruging that the judge never told her that she couldn’t have an affair with one of the accused.

The Crown is now appealling the acquittals from the original trial on the basis of jury-tampering, and seeking a new trial.

My fave was the recent case where the jury decided between two verdicts by flipping a coin. The judge overturned the jury’s verdict (though how, I can’t imagine…coin flipping doesn’t fall into any of the normal reasons for reversing a jury verdict.)