Florida Supreme Court: Juror Error Warrants New Murder Trial

Friday, Sep 27, 2013  |  Updated 9:16 AM EDT
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Florida Supreme Court: Juror Error Warrants New Murder Trial

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Quoting from the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird," the Florida Supreme Court has ordered a new murder trial for a Miami man because of errors in jury selection.
 
The justices Thursday quoted the book's hero Atticus Finch in praising the importance of the U.S. jury system. The court found that a juror in the case of Rafael Matarranz should have been removed by the judge for cause because of pro-prosecution biases she displayed during questioning by lawyers.
 
The juror was eventually removed by Matarranz's defense lawyer, but the Supreme Court ruled that improperly left him with fewer options to remove other prospective jurors.
 
Matarranz was convicted of strangling a woman during a 2003 burglary and is serving a life sentence. The court's ruling means he will get a new trial.

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