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People v. Archuleta.

2021 COA 49. No. 18CA0407. Juror Misconduct—Motion for New Trial—CRE 606(b).

April 15, 2021


Defendant was tried on charges of child abuse resulting in the death of her 4-month-old grandson. The court empaneled a 12-person jury with one alternate. At the end of the evidence, the court identified Juror 11 as the alternate and excused him from deliberations. The jury found defendant guilty of child abuse resulting in death. Juror 11 then testified at defendant’s sentencing hearing that he thought there was reasonable doubt in defendant’s case, and he stated that other jurors had expressed doubts about defendant’s credibility during the trial. Defendant filed a Crim. P. 33 motion for a new trial alleging juror misconduct based on the jurors engaging in premature deliberations and attached an affidavit from Juror 11 to support her motion. The court denied the motion without a hearing.

On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erred by denying her motion for a new trial because it erroneously found Juror 11’s affidavit inadmissible under CRE 606(b). CRE 606(b) recognizes three narrow exceptions to the ban on post-verdict juror testimony, and the US Supreme Court recognizes a constitutional exception when a juror makes a statement indicating reliance on racial stereotypes or animus to convict a defendant. Whether CRE 606(b) applies depends on the type of juror misconduct alleged rather than when it occurred. Juror 11’s affidavit did not allege misconduct that falls within a recognized exception. Accordingly, CRE 606(b) barred receipt of the affidavit, and the trial court did not err.

The judgment was affirmed.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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