Wednesday, August 02, 2006

People v. Rubio (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 1, 2006)

This is a good opinion by Justice Rushing. Fair, balanced, and reasonably short (13 double-spaced pages). He reverses and remands for a new trial when one of the jurors indisputably had severe problems throughout the trial hearing the evidence and yet was kept on the jury. I thought that Justice Rushing's decision to include the portion of the transcript (at pages 3 to 8 of the opinion) in which the juror discussed her hearing problems with the court -- in which the juror repeatedly couldn't hear what was said even then -- was especially telling. Clearly the right result. As was Justice Rushing's (important) caveat that this shouldn't mean that we dismiss jurors who are having difficulty hearing. That said, when the court-supplied hearing aids don't work and the juror can't hear or understand large (and critical) portion the testimony, you can't leave 'em on the jury.

One more point. Retrial or not, I ain't getting a massage from the defendant, Joe Rubio. It's a family blog, so I shan't retype the first paragraph of the "Statement of the Facts" (on page 2 of the opinion). But read it. YUK! I definitely didn't come in for that, thank you very much. P.S. - Rubio was also convicted of illegal possession of testosterone. Two points: (1) How weird is that? And (2) From the facts of the case, it sounds like Rubio needs a lot less of that stuff, not artificially more.