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State v. Logan

535 N.W.2d 320 (1995)

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State v. Logan

Minnesota Supreme Court

535 N.W.2d 320 (1995)

Facts

Benjamin Logan (defendant) was charged with two counts of first-degree murder committed during the armed robbery of a Minneapolis gun store. Prospective juror K. G. responded in his juror questionnaire that he would favor police officers’ testimony over other witnesses’ testimony, that it was the job of police officers to present sound evidence, and that he believed the increase in violent crime must be dealt with. In response to Logan’s counsel’s questions, K. G. claimed that K. G. did not think that police officers lie under oath and that it would be virtually impossible for K. G. to conclude that a police officer testified falsely. K. G. then conceded in response to the prosecutor’s (plaintiff) leading questions that it was possible that some police officers might lie, that K. G. would follow the court’s instructions to the best of his ability, and that K. G. thought that he could be fair. K. G. subsequently answered the defense counsel’s further open-ended questions by stating that he held police in high regard and felt that he would favor police in some way, but he would try his best to be objective. By the time K. G. was questioned during voir dire, Logan’s counsel had no peremptory challenges left. Logan challenged K. G. for cause, but the trial court denied the challenge, and K. G. was seated as an alternate juror. After one juror fell ill and another failed to appear, K. G. became a member of the jury. Jurors were required to evaluate conflicting testimonies from a police officer and Logan regarding what Logan said during an interrogation. The jury convicted Logan of two counts of first-degree murder, and Logan appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Coyne, J.)

Dissent (Anderson, J.)

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