Equivocating Juror, Supremes Dump on 2d DCA, and Constructive Possession

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McKay v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D849 (Fla. 3d DCA, Apr 20, 2011): Defense Appeal, Reversed for New Trial – Jury selection issue when prospective juror (an attorney) equivocates on the issue of defendant testifying (or not testifying).  “There is manifest error when a juror responds with equivocal or conditional answers that thereby raise a reasonable doubt as to whether the juror possesses the requisite state of mind necessary to render an impartial decision. See Salgado v. State, 829 So. 2d 342, 344 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002).”

Marrero v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly S199 (Fla. May 5, 2011): Conflicts Resolved – Florida Supreme Court disapproves Marrero, 22 So.3d 822 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009), conflicting with First and Second District Court Opinions, for using “life experience” exception to requirement that state must prove specific value of damaged property in Criminal Mischief cases.  State failed to present any evidence on value to damaged property.  Third District Court of Appeal affirmed conviction explaining that sufficient evidence was introduced to allow jurors use of their “life experience” to determine value.  Supremes find the amount of damage to be an essential element of the crime of Criminal Mischief and in doing so strike the use of “life experience” exception as defined by the Second District’s Jackson v. State, 413 So.2d 112 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982) that the Third DCA relied upon.  Great read.

State v. Cadore, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D876 (Fla. 2d DCA, Apr 27, 2011): State Appeal of Motion to Dismiss, Reversed – Excellent constructive possession case.  Not as helpful to defense as previous cases.  Issue is whether “dominion and control” in a circumstantial evidence case can be addressed with a (c)4 motion.  Second says no with explanation.  Good case law.

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