Decker v. State (1983)

In Decker v. State, 717 S.W.2d 903 (Tex. Crim. App. 1983), after the jury had been selected and sworn, a juror recognized the complainant as a coworker. See id. at 906. The defendant moved for a mistrial and for a new juror to be selected, arguing that if he had known about the relationship, he would have peremptorily struck the juror. See id. at 905. The trial court overruled the motion and refused to allow the defendant to peremptorily strike the juror. See id. at 905-06. The court of criminal appeals noted that the record showed the juror had not intentionally given false information during the voir dire examination, but realized that he knew the complainant only after seeing him. See id. at 907. In addition, the court found that the undisclosed information was not material in that the juror's relationship with the complainant was only as a work acquaintance, and the two men had never socialized together or had any type of friendship. Id. Thus, the court concluded that the trial court did not err because there was no showing that the defendant was deprived of an impartial jury or denied a fair trial in any way. See id. at 907-08. In sum, after a juror had been selected and impaneled, the juror "recognized" the complainant, a fellow co-worker for several months. Id. at 904. After questioning by defense counsel, the court held that, because the two had never socialized or had any type of friendship, the information was not material. Id. at 907. The acquaintanceship through employment revealed no relationship that had any potential for prejudice or bias on the part of the juror. Id.