Monday, May 18, 2009

Applicable Standard When Dismissing Juror for Cause

In Samuels v. State (4D07-359 & 4D08-1) the Fourth DCA discussed the standard to be used when determining whether to excuse a juror for cause. The court held:

An appellate court reviews a ruling on a cause challenge for abuse of discretion. Singleton v. State, 783 So. 2d 970, 973 (Fla. 2001); Carratelli v. State, 832 So. 2d 850, 854 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). “A juror should be excused for cause if there is any reasonable doubt about the juror’s ability to render an impartial verdict.” Carratelli, 832 So. 2d at 854 (quoting Singleton, 783 So. 2d at 973). A close case involving a challenge to the impartiality of a potential juror should be resolved in favor of excusing the juror rather than leaving doubt as to her impartiality. Id.


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