The note also said there had been some concern about Juror #4 bartering his vote.
During deliberations on July 2, 2009, the foreman wrote, Juror #4 "changed his vote on a charge, bringing a unanimous decision. However [Juror 4] then attempted to make his vote contingent upon the room agreeing blindly on a charge to be voted on later. He wanted to barter."
It was one of a stream of notes from the jury during deliberations. Patterson, however, neglected to tell counsel about the note and instead opted to speak privately with the juror, who told the judge he felt "insulted and threatened" by others on the panel.
The circuit vacated the convictions in January, with Judge Denny Chin writing that the trial judge's failure to disclose the contents of the note and his decision to have an ex parte conference with the troublesome juror deprived Mr. Collins of the right to be present at his own trial.
While Chin credited Patterson for "trying in good faith to ease serious tensions in the jury room and deal with accusations of misconduct," he said the court could not say with "fair assurance" that "the errors in this case did not substantially affect the verdict" (NYLJ, Jan. 10).
Chin said the circuit could not ignore the possibility that Juror #4, having been told the importance of reaching a verdict, "walked out of the ex parte conference with the impression he should not stand in the way of a prompt resolution of the case."
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