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142234 - People v Richards (Maurice)

The People of the State of Michigan,
Richard J. Goodman
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
(Macomb – Viviano, D.)
Maurice Anthony Richards,
Christopher M. Smith


​The defendant was convicted after a jury trial of carjacking and felony-firearm. At trial, the jurors were instructed that they could engage in pre-deliberation discussions amongst themselves as part of a pilot project to study proposed jury reforms. Those proposed rules included allowing judges to inform jurors that they may discuss evidence among themselves during trial recesses. Was the defendant’s right to a fair trial and impartial jury prejudiced by allowing the jurors to discuss the evidence before final deliberations?