Should what goes on in the jury room stay in the jury room? Not always, according to a recent D.C. Circuit Court opinion on post-verdict challenges of juror misconduct. The court has carved out an exception to the No-Impeachment Rule when there is an allegation of racial or ethnic bias.
The Court's decision allowing judges to investigate jurors is narrow; only when there is a constitutional right at stake. In this case, the judge did not err in inquiring about jurors after a verdict was made. The constitutional right of the defendant was in jeopardy based on an allegation of racial or ethnic bias of one juror.