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Government of the Virgin Islands v. Gereau

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
523 F.2d 140 (1975)


Facts

After nine days of deliberation, the jury found the appellants (defendants) guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree assault and robbery. When the jurors were polled after giving their verdict, each acknowledged the verdict. However, the appellants filed a motion for a new trial two days after the verdict was handed down, claiming that the jurors had been influenced by one of the jury attendants. One of the jurors, Agneta Cappin, testified at a hearing that she had a conversation with Matron Foye, a jury attendant, in which Foye told Cappin that Foye wanted the jury to hurry up so she could go home. Foye denied having this conversation with Cappin. Cappin, who had been voting guilty throughout the deliberation process, did not tell the other jurors about her conversation with Foye and did not indicate that she was influenced by Foye’s statement. The judge determined both witnesses to be credible but decided, on the basis of his personal knowledge that Foye was grateful to have her job as a jury attendant, to discount Cappin’s testimony as less credible. The appellants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Van Dusen, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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