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State v. Marquina, 2020 UT 66 (Oct. 15, 2020)

Oct 15, 2020

On certiorari, the court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision that the trial court did not plainly err in its handling of the State’s reports of a juror who fell asleep at trial. However, the court clarified that when a trial court receives a reliable report of a sleeping or inattentive juror, the court should respond in proportion to the report, which at a minimum requires “the court to glean any facts relevant to determining whether a juror has missed a portion of the trial, and to make an informed decision about whether the juror remains qualified to decide the case.”  The court stated that, going forward, a response that is not commensurate with the seriousness of the information before the court would constitute plain error.