State v. Widdison

In State v. Widdison, 2001 UT 60, 28 P.3d 1278, the question of whether the district court had abused its discretion in denying a motion for a change of venue came to us after the case had "already been tried and decided by a jury." Widdison, 2001 UT 60 at P38. Because the "unique circumstance of the interlocutory appeal," id., that existed in James did not exist in Widdison, we specifically declined to apply the James analysis to post-conviction appeals. See id. ("On appeal from a jury verdict, we do not look to the James factors to determine whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying a change of venue."). Instead, the Court determined that the proper post-conviction test was "whether the defendant was ultimately tried by a fair and impartial jury." Id. Applying that test to the facts, the Court held that, because the defendant had passed the jury for cause, thereby acknowledging its impartiality, and because the defendant was "unable to point to any specific evidence of impartiality or bias," the trial court properly exercised its discretion in denying the change of venue. Id.