Juror's Failure to Answer Questions During Voir Dire Jury Selection
A juror's failure to answer material questions truthfully during voir dire, if discovered during trial, may justify the removal of that juror and replacement with an alternate or result in a declaration of mistrial. However, a prospective juror's untruthful answers on voir dire do not automatically entitle a party to a new trial. Allen v. Ramada Inn, Inc., 778 P.2d 291 (Colo. App. 1989).
If a juror's nondisclosure was inadvertent, it must be shown that the undisclosed facts were such as to have created an actual bias. Absent such a showing, it will be assumed that the juror followed the instructions of the court and decided the case based solely on the evidence and the law. People v. Christopher, 896 P.2d 876 (Colo. 1995); People v. Dunoyair, 660 P.2d 890 (Colo. 1983).
Further, the trial court is in the best position to view the demeanor of the juror, and its decision will not be disturbed on appeal unless the record affirmatively demonstrates that the court abused its discretion. People v. Christopher, supra; People v. Russo, 713 P.2d 356 (Colo. 1986).