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Jury – Selection – Bias / Disqualification – Doubtful Fairness: Belief Police More Credible

State v. Scot A. Czarnecki, 2000 WI App 155, 237 Wis.2d 794, 615 N.W.2d 672
For Czarnecki: Patrick M. Donnelly, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue: Whether the trial court should have granted the defense motion to remove a prospective juror who acknowledged believing that police officers would be more credible than other witnesses.

Holding: Juror bias is reviewed with deference to the trial court’s resolution. Because police credibility was never at issue, the juror wasn’t objectively biased. ¶22. As to subjective bias, the juror made conflicting statements and the finding of the trial court, which was in a better position to make an assessment of the juror’s sincerity, wasn’t clearly erroneous. ¶23.

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