Supreme Court says juror comments during deliberations can't be used to seek new trial

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WASHINGTON — A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled that a juror's comments during trial deliberations cannot be used to show dishonesty during jury selection.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court on Tuesday that rules written by Congress that govern federal trials are intended to preserve the sanctity of jury deliberations. The court ruled in a case concerning injuries suffered in a traffic accident near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

A motorcycle rider who had his left leg amputated as a result of the accident lost his negligence lawsuit, but sought a new trial based on one juror's report of what another said during deliberations. The motorcyclist said the comments suggested that the second juror lied when she promised to be impartial during jury selection.

The case is Warger v. Shauers, 13-517.

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