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Prosecutor Withheld Information In Regard to a Juror

In Davis v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2247b (Fla. 1st DCA 2013) a prosecutor withheld knowledge of a sitting juror's involvement in the law enforcement investigation of the case being tried although the prosecutor was unquestionably aware of that fact.

The prosecutor admitted to being specifically told that the juror was involved in the investigation of the case for which he was also a sitting juror. Neither the defense nor the court were aware of this juror's involvement. The trial court properly ensured that Davis received an impartial jury and fair trial by removing the juror who had been involved in the law enforcement investigation, and seating an alternate juror.

The First District Court of Appeal per curiam affirmed. The concurring opinion stated that prosecutors are officers of the court and must shoulder an awesome responsibility. The concurring opinion went onto explain that the prosecutor's job is not to obtain convictions; it is to serve justice and conduct a fair and impartial trial. The concurring opinion went onto state that prosecutors must refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction.

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