The Members sieve

Leaks from Members (or sometimes military judges) occasionally give rise to appellate litigation.

Here is an interesting piece on federal evidence review:

Motion for new trial on criminal extortion and bribery case denied, despite juror’s statement to newspaper after the verdict that because the defendants did not testify, the juror reasoned that "[if] they were innocent, they would have testified.’”; since members of the jury did not learn of the defendant’s failure to testify through improper channels, the evidence of their discussions was not admissible under FRE 606(b) as it was not an extrinsic influence, inUnited States v. Kelley, 461 F.3d 817 (6th Cir. Aug. 31, 2006) (Nos. 05-1361, 05-1435)

Two weeks ago, the Federal Evidence Blog reported a recent Ninth Circuit case in which the circuit remanded a conspiracy and arson conviction because the trial judge failed "to make adequate inquiries regarding news stories" that appeared during deliberations and their impact on juror’s deliberations; the judge erroneously failed to explore "whether any juror heard any of the information" and its impact on the jury. See "Trial Court’s Duty To Make ‘Adequate Inquiries’ About Extrinsic Influences On Jury" (Oct. 6, 2010).

A contrasting and much more usual case is one in which a party learns of the influence of news reports after the trial concludes. For example, in United States v. Kelley,