Gaffney v. State, 3 Div. 541

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtKENNEDY WILLIAMS; The foregoing opinion was prepared by Kennedy Williams
Citation342 So.2d 403
Decision Date05 October 1976
Docket Number3 Div. 541
PartiesWillie Fred GAFFNEY v. STATE.

Page 403

342 So.2d 403
Willie Fred GAFFNEY
v.
STATE.
3 Div. 541.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.
Oct. 5, 1976.
Rehearing Denied Nov. 16, 1976.

J. Ronald Boyd, Birmingham, for appellant.

William J. Baxley, Atty. Gen., and Gary R. Maxwell, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.

KENNEDY WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge.

A jury found defendant (appellant) guilty of manslaughter in the first degree, the jury fixed his sentence at imprisonment in the penitentiary for the term of five years, and he was sentenced by the Court accordingly.

The defendant was indicted by the grand jury of Butler County for murder in the first degree, was arraigned and tried on December 12, 1975, and found guilty of manslaughter in the first degree.

On the night of May 10, 1975, defendant had been arguing with several persons and was asked to leave, with these persons, the building wherein the argument was taking

Page 404

place. After leaving the building the defendant continued the argument with the deceased in a nearby parking lot where the defendant shot the deceased with a 22 caliber pistol. After the trial it was reported to defense counsel that one of the jurors had spoken to the mother of the deceased during a recess of the jury.

(1) The appellant assigns as error on his motion for a new trial and the overruling of said motion, the fact that a juror conversed with the mother of the deceased during a jury recess while the trial was in progress. The transcript does not show what was said or what any conversation was that was had between the two. The appellant called a witness who testified that he saw the designated juror speak to the deceased's mother but that he could not hear what was said. In rebuttal the State called the juror and the mother of the deceased to testify and both stated that nothing was said between the two concerning the case or any facts connected therewith. The prejudicial effect of communications between jurors and others, especially in a criminal case, determines the reversible character of the error. Whether there has been a communication with the juror and whether it has caused prejudice are fact questions to be determined by the Court in the exercise of sound discretion. The evidence pertaining to the conduct of this juror was submitted at the hearing on motion for a new trial. It became the duty of the trial Judge to exercise his reasonable discretion inweighing and determining such evidence and making his decision thereon. His ruling and...

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28 practice notes
  • Young v. State, CR-17-0595
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 6, 2021
    ...it has caused prejudice are fact questions to be determined by the Court in the exercise of sound discretion.' "Gaffney v. State, 342 So.2d 403, (Ala.Crim.App.1976)." Minor v. State, 914 So.2d 372, 411-12 (Ala.Crim.App.2004). After the jury reached its verdict in the guilt phase o......
  • Reynolds v. State Of Ala., CR-07-0443
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • October 1, 2010
    ...court in the exercise of sound discretion."' Burgess v. State, 827 So. 2d 134, 157 (Ala. Cr. App. 1998), quoting Gaffney v. State, 342 So. 2d 403, 404 (Ala. Cr. App. 1976), cert, denied, 342 So. 2d 404 (Ala.1977). In discussing claims involving alleged juror misconduct, we said the fol......
  • Mcmillan v. State Of Ala., CR-08-1954
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 5, 2010
    ...trial court in the exercise of sound discretion."' Burgess v. State, 827 So. 2d 134 157(Ala.Cr.App. 1998), quoting Gaffney v. State, 342 So. 2d 403, 404 (Ala.Cr.App. 1976), cert. denied, 342 So. 2d 404 (Ala. 1977). In discussing claims involving alleged juror misconduct, we said the fo......
  • Saunders v. State, CR-05-0281.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • December 21, 2007
    ...of discretion. Winstead v. State, 53 Ala.App. 222, 298 So.2d 642, cert. denied, 292 Ala. 761, 298 So.2d 646 (1974); Gaffney v. State, 342 So.2d 403 (Ala.Cr.App.1976), cert. denied, 342 So.2d 404 (Ala.1977); Cox v. State, 394 So.2d 103 (Ala.Cr.App. 443 So.2d at 1320. Similarly, in Thomas v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • Young v. State, CR-17-0595
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 6, 2021
    ...it has caused prejudice are fact questions to be determined by the Court in the exercise of sound discretion.' "Gaffney v. State, 342 So.2d 403, (Ala.Crim.App.1976)." Minor v. State, 914 So.2d 372, 411-12 (Ala.Crim.App.2004). After the jury reached its verdict in the guilt phase o......
  • Reynolds v. State Of Ala., CR-07-0443
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • October 1, 2010
    ...court in the exercise of sound discretion."' Burgess v. State, 827 So. 2d 134, 157 (Ala. Cr. App. 1998), quoting Gaffney v. State, 342 So. 2d 403, 404 (Ala. Cr. App. 1976), cert, denied, 342 So. 2d 404 (Ala.1977). In discussing claims involving alleged juror misconduct, we said the fol......
  • Mcmillan v. State Of Ala., CR-08-1954
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 5, 2010
    ...trial court in the exercise of sound discretion."' Burgess v. State, 827 So. 2d 134 157(Ala.Cr.App. 1998), quoting Gaffney v. State, 342 So. 2d 403, 404 (Ala.Cr.App. 1976), cert. denied, 342 So. 2d 404 (Ala. 1977). In discussing claims involving alleged juror misconduct, we said the fo......
  • Saunders v. State, CR-05-0281.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • December 21, 2007
    ...of discretion. Winstead v. State, 53 Ala.App. 222, 298 So.2d 642, cert. denied, 292 Ala. 761, 298 So.2d 646 (1974); Gaffney v. State, 342 So.2d 403 (Ala.Cr.App.1976), cert. denied, 342 So.2d 404 (Ala.1977); Cox v. State, 394 So.2d 103 (Ala.Cr.App. 443 So.2d at 1320. Similarly, in Thomas v. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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