State v. Rojas

In State v. Rojas, 177 Ariz. 454, 457, 868 P.2d 1037, 1040 (App. 1993), while walking out to deliberate, a juror gave the bailiff $20 to give to the victims along with a note telling them that "it took great courage to come to court and testify in front of a jury" and that he was "proud" of them. 177 Ariz. at 456, 868 P.2d at 1039. The court denied a motion for mistrial and declined to interview the juror until after the jury returned a guilty verdict. Id. The Court reversed, holding that upon learning of the note, the trial court in Rojas should have immediately stopped the deliberations, questioned the juror, and determined whether the deliberations should have proceeded. Id. at 458-59, 868 P.2d at 1041-42. The Court also found that the juror's expression of impartiality was elicited through the trial court's leading questions and that it was "on its face irreconcilable" with what the juror actually did in praising the victims and sending them money. Id.