2nd District Court Of Appeal Rejects Defense Request For Juror Interview In Florida DUI Case
In the case of State versus. Monserrate-Jacobs, the 5th District Court of Appeal held as follows:
The district court of appeal granted the state's petition for certiorari review regarding a post-trial juror interview. Defendant was charged with DUI-Manslaughter. The State of Florida presented evidence that blood samples that were taken from the defendant on the night in question reflected that defendant had a .178 blood alcohol level. The blood draw kit utilized, as well as the vials of the defendant's blood, were admitted into evidence. The defendant conjectured the blood draw must somehow have been contaminated either through defective outdated tubes and/or an expired blood kit. The jury asked to examine the blood draw kit during deliberations, in front of the defendant's counsel; no objections were raised. Following the guilty verdict, defendant filed a motion for juror interview, based on his belief that a particular juror had observed an expiration date on the blood kit and informed the other jurors of her observations. The district court held that the defendant's allegations were too speculative to permit a juror interview. The 2nd District Court of Appeal held that defendant's did not allege facts necessary support his supposition that a juror had somehow ascertained the expiration date for the blood kit, and the defendant also did not allege that there was, in fact, an expiration date visible on the kit.
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