Bina v. State

In Bina v. State, No. 01-06-00557-CR, 2008 WL 256897 (Tex. App.--Houston 1st Dist. Jan. 31, 2008, pet. ref'd), a juror asked if he could withdraw from the jury because he did not think his English was good enough. The juror explained that he could read and write English but had trouble understanding when the parties spoke quickly. Id. The trial court dismissed the juror, replaced him with an alternate, overruled the appellant's general objections to the dismissal and replacement, and then proceeded with 12 jurors. Id. The Houston court held that the trial court "implicitly concluded that the juror was disabled because of his lack of proficiency in the English language" and, therefore, did not abuse its discretion by dismissing the juror. However, as the court pointed out, because there was an alternate juror, in this circumstance the appellant was not deprived of a 12-member jury. Id.