State v. Hampton

In State v. Hampton, 201 Wis. 2d 662, 549 N.W.2d 756 (Ct. App. 1996), Hampton's counsel sent a note to the trial court alerting it to the sleeping juror. The trial court acknowledged that it had noticed that the juror "was drowsy" during testimony, yet refused to conduct a hearing to inquire about how much of the testimony the juror had missed. See 201 Wis. 2d at 666-667. The Court noted that the objection was both timely and specific. See 201 Wis. 2d at 670-71. Furthermore, it was conceded that the juror was sleeping. See id. at 673. While holding that the manner with which to deal with juror inattentiveness is within the discretion of the trial court, see 201 Wis. 2d at 670, the Court concluded that, under the circumstances in Hampton, it was an erroneous exercise of the trial court's discretion not to inquire further into the juror's lack of attention. See id.