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  • 2 years ago
Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

On March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court decided Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado. Miguel Angel Pena-Rodriguez was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct and harassment in state trial court. Two jurors later informed Pena-Rodriguez’s counsel that another juror made racially-biased statements about Pena-Rodriguez and an alibi witness during jury deliberations. The trial court authorized counsel to contact the two jurors for their affidavits detailing what the allegedly biased juror had said. Pena-Rodriguez moved for a new trial after learning from the affidavits that the juror had suggested Pena-Rodriguez was guilty because he was Hispanic (and this juror considered Hispanic males to be sexually aggressive toward females). According to the affidavits, the juror also deemed the alibi witness not credible because, among other things, that witness was “an illegal.” The trial court denied the motion and a divided Supreme Court of Colorado ultimately affirmed, applying Colorado Rule of Evidence 606