From our private database of 22,300+ case briefs...
United States v. Thomas
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
116 F.3d 606 (1997)
Thomas (defendant) was convicted of violating federal narcotics laws. Starting during voir dire, there were questions about whether one of the potential jurors should actually sit on the jury. The defense challenged the prosecution’s attempt to exercise a peremptory challenge. The judge denied the government’s request and the juror in question became Juror No. 5. Towards the end of trial, the trial judge conducted off the record interviews with each of the jurors because complaints about Juror No. 5 had come to his attention. Then, once jury deliberations had begun, complaints about Juror No. 5 began anew and the judge conducted another round of interviews with the jurors. Many of the jurors complained they could not reach a verdict because of Juror No. 5’s “predisposed disposition” and unwavering belief that Thomas should be found not guilty. However, the jurors were split on Juror No. 5’s motivations. Some said that Juror No. 5 believed Thomas should be found not guilty because Thomas was his “people.” Thomas was African American and Juror No. 5 was the only African American juror. Others said that Juror No. 5 believed that Thomas had engaged in the drug activity but did so only out of economic necessity. However, other jurors told the judge that Juror No. 5 believed certain evidence was insufficient or unreliable and that is why he believed Thomas should be found not guilty. During his own interview, Juror No. 5 said nothing to suggest that he was not making a good faith effort to apply the law as explained to him by the judge. After this round of interviews, the judge decided to remove Juror No. 5. The judge found that Juror No. 5 was ignoring the evidence and basing his decision on preconceived ideas. The day after Juror No. 5 was dismissed, the remaining eleven jurors found Thomas guilty.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cabranes, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 517,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 517,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 22,300 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.