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Jurors Challenge for cause Impartiality Statements of defendant Confession

Posted by John Rutkowski | Jan 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Jurors -- Challenge for cause -- Impartiality -- Statements of defendant -- Confession -- Jurors' belief in implausibility of false confession defense -- Error to deny cause strikes against jurors who indicated they would have difficulty accepting that a person accused of a serious crime could falsely admit guilt -- Jury -- Deliberations -- Playback of testimony -- Error to allow jury to hear playback of only first 20 minutes of victim's testimony, including only direct examination and excluding cross-examination, where it cannot be said beyond a reasonable doubt that the partial playback did not contribute to conviction -- While jury may decide what evidence to focus on during deliberations, and there is no need to create a bright-line rule that a trial court is required to force-feed the jury portions of playback the jury deems unnecessary, the trial court failed to inquire into the specifics of the testimony to be reheard or to confirm that the jury had no need to hear unrequested portions.

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John Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-three years. Prior to practicing law Mr. Rutkowski served twelve years as a deputy sheriff, retiring to attend law school. Starting his law-enforcement career as a patrol deputy which included two years on the DUI squad; Mr. Rutkowski moved up the ranks becoming a corporal in the field training program which give him the responsibility for training new recruits.


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