A Connecticut judge recently reprimanded an alternate juror for passing notes while on duty in the death penalty case of Stephen Hayes. Stephen Hayes was convicted of capital murder last month for killing a woman and her two daughters. The juror passed a flirtatious note to a marshal by a second juror in court on Friday, asking the marshal out on a date. The marshal did nothing wrong in the incident.
The alternate juror was later called to the witness stand to explain her actions. She insisted that she was capable of being an impartial juror, and had paid attention throughout the trial. The alternate juror is needed in this trial as other jurors have been dismissed as the case has proceeded. The defense asked the alternate juror be removed, but the Judge refused to remove her.
The incident created a diversion and distracted everyone, including other jurors from the task at hand.
Moral of the story: don’t pass notes in court.
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