West Virginia v. Woodall – Case Brief Summary (West Virginia)

In West Virginia v. Woodall, 182 W. Va. 15, 385 S.E.2d 253, 263-64 (W. Va. 1989), the appellate court held that the trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion for a mistrial after jurors discussed the case at lunch during trial.

The trial court questioned the jurors, who assured the court that they could and would determine the facts fairly. See id.

The appellate court observed that, when an outsider speaks to a juror, we are most concerned, because inadmissible testimony might be received. Jury discussions among themselves, however, are less troublesome, because they have heard the same evidence in court and remain free to weigh and argue when they later retire to reach a verdict. Id. at 264.