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Remmer v. United States
United States Supreme Court
347 U.S. 227, 74 S. Ct. 450, 98 L. Ed. 654 (1954)
Remmer (defendant) was charged with tax evasion. Prior to jury deliberations, the jury foreman was approached by an unnamed individual and told that he could profit if the jury found in favor of Remmer. The foreman reported the interaction to the judge, who discussed the matter with the prosecutors. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sent an agent to investigate the matter, including interviewing the foreman. The agent reported to the court that the statement to the juror had been a joke, and the court continued the trial without telling Remmer or his attorney about the incident. The jury found Remmer guilty. Remmer’s attorneys found out about the incident when it was reported in the newspaper after the verdict was returned. Remmer filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the incident had prejudiced him and deprived him of a fair trial. Included in the motion was an affidavit in which Remmer’s attorneys stated that they would have moved for a mistrial if they had been informed of the incident. Remmer also requested a hearing to determine more about the incident and its effect on the jury. The United States (plaintiff) did not respond to Remmer’s motion, and the district court denied the motion without holding a hearing. The court of appeals affirmed, finding that Remmer had failed to show that he had been prejudiced by the lack of notice of the incident. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Minton, J.)
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