Case Involving a Juror With Prior Drinking Problem
In People v. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d 369, 378-79, 504 N.E.2d 96, 105 Ill. Dec. 227 (1987), a mistrial was declared after the trial court learned that one of the jurors had made comments, which were overheard by other members of the jury, about his inability to render an impartial verdict because of his prior drinking problem. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 373.
Upon learning of the comments, the trial court conducted a hearing and summoned the juror to testify. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 373.
The trial court asked defense counsel if he wished to interrogate the juror, but defense counsel declined and asked for a recess to confer with the prosecutor. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 374.
Following the recess, the trial court declared a mistrial, continued the matter for further trial setting, and discharged the jury. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 374-75.
Upon review, the supreme court determined that defense counsel had two opportunities to object to the mistrial. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 377.
First, during the interrogation of the juror and, second, after the trial court declared the mistrial but before it actually discharged the jury, when the trial court stated: " 'and this cause will be continued for a further trial setting.' " Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 378.
The supreme court determined that, at that point, defense counsel could have requested a sidebar and objected to the mistrial outside the presence of the jury. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 378.
However, defense counsel failed to object and simply thanked the jury. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 375.
The supreme court held that this course of conduct amounted to acquiescence in the result. Camden, 115 Ill. 2d at 378-79.