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United States v. Brown

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

January 9, 2020

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
CORRINE BROWN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 3:16-cr-00093-TJC-JRK-1

          Before WILLIAM PRYOR and ROSENBAUM, Circuit Judges, and CONWAY, [*] District Judge.

          ROSENBAUM, Circuit Judge:

         If the right to a jury trial means anything, it means a right to a verdict based on the evidence. Indeed, the entirety of our procedural mechanisms is geared to achieve this result: we have trials so we can ensure all jurors consider the same universe of evidence; we have an entire body of rules-the Federal Rules of Evidence-devoted to controlling the information on which jurors can rely in reaching their decision; and we expressly instruct the jurors that they must determine their verdict based on the evidence. Then, if a defendant loses at trial, on appeal, we review the record to be certain that sufficient evidence supports the verdict.

         We do these things to try to ensure that only those proven guilty based on admissible evidence will be convicted and to try to prevent convictions that arise from prejudice or even ostensibly noble reasons-such as a juror's belief that God has told him to convict, irrespective of the evidence. The consistent application of these practices underpins the public's faith in the jury system and delivers due process of law, an ideal in which our system of justice is grounded.

         So we must steadfastly insist that a deliberating juror who is incapable of reaching a verdict based on the evidence be dismissed, regardless of whether that juror intends to convict or acquit a defendant. If we do not, we guarantee that, under at least some circumstances, a juror who is unable to arrive at a verdict rooted in the evidence will nonetheless be allowed to convict a defendant. That is unacceptable.

         Here, the district court became aware that during deliberations, Juror 13 in Defendant-Appellant Corrine Brown's trial made remarks suggesting he might not base his verdict on the evidence adduced at trial. Specifically, Juror 13 informed the other jurors at the outset of deliberations that "[t]he Holy Spirit told [him]" that Brown was not guilty on all counts.

         The district court questioned Juror 13 for a while, in the presence of the parties, to ascertain whether Juror 13 meant that he had prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom in reaching a verdict based on the evidence-which would not run afoul of the court's instructions to return a verdict based on the evidence-or whether he meant instead that he believed the Holy Spirit had "told" him to return a certain verdict irrespective of what the evidence showed-which would violate the court's instructions. Based on Juror 13's responses and demeanor, the district court concluded that Juror 13 was not capable of rendering a verdict rooted in the evidence presented at trial but that, despite his best intentions, Juror 13 would instead arrive at a verdict based on his perceived divine revelation, uninformed by the actual evidence. For this reason, the district court dismissed Juror 13 from the jury.

         We find no clear error in the district court's factual findings. And for that reason, the district court certainly did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Juror 13 from the jury. To hold otherwise would undermine our system of justice by allowing jurors to return verdicts based not on the evidence or law, but instead on a juror's perceived divine revelation, irrespective of the evidence. Though here, the juror's perceived divine revelation might have worked in the criminal defendant's favor had the district court not learned of it mid-deliberations, a contrary holding would allow criminal defendants to be convicted based on a divine revelation divorced from the evidence, rather than the evidence presented at trial-a troubling result, to say the least. And regardless of whether it works in favor of or against the defendant, a rule that would allow a juror to base his verdict on something other than the evidence would be antithetical to the rule of law and is contradicted by decades of precedent.

         Brown also raises a challenge to the forfeiture order the district court entered. We find no error there, either. We therefore affirm Brown's convictions.

         I.

         A.

         A federal grand jury issued a 24-count indictment charging Brown with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1349), sixteen counts of mail and wire fraud (18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1342, 1343), one count of theft of government funds (18 U.S.C. §§ 641, 642), two counts of engaging in a scheme to conceal material facts (18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1)), one count of engaging in a corrupt endeavor to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue laws (26 U.S.C. § 7212(a)), and three counts of filing a false tax return (26 U.S.C. § 7206(1)).

         The charges related to One Door for Education-Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund ("One Door for Education"), an organization that purported to be a charity that raised funds for, "among other things, scholarship assistance for disadvantaged students and the purchase of computers to be donated to schools." According to the indictment, Brown and her alleged co-conspirators "used Brown's official position as a Member of Congress to solicit contributions to One Door for Education and to induce individuals and entities to make donations" to that organization for the stated charitable purposes.

         But upon receipt of the contributions, the indictment alleged, Brown and her co-conspirators distributed a total of only $1, 200 for scholarships from the more than $800, 000 collected for that stated purpose. The indictment further asserted that Brown and her co-conspirators used the "vast majority" of the remaining monies "for their own personal and professional benefit." In particular, the indictment charged that they used the funds to pay for "a variety of personal expenses" such as "luxury vacations," and "to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in [her] honor," including spending the monies for the use of luxury boxes at sporting and concert events.

         Brown proceeded to trial on the charges. During jury selection, all prospective jurors affirmed that they had no "political, religious, or moral beliefs that would preclude [them] from serving as a fair, impartial juror" in the case and that they had no "religious or moral beliefs" that would preclude them from "sitting in judgment of another person." Then the selected jurors swore to "render a true verdict, according to the law, evidence, and instructions of this court, so help [them] God."

         The court elaborated on that promise, explaining that the jurors' job was to "decide this case based solely on the evidence [they] hear[d] in this courtroom." The court then repeated its instruction twice more: "If you didn't get it in this courtroom, you shouldn't have it. If you didn't get it in this courtroom, you shouldn't have it." In fact, the court further emphasized that "our whole system depends on the fact that the case is decided in this courtroom on the evidence in this courtroom and nothing else," and that "every single one of [the jurors] has that responsibility to make sure that that's what happens."

         During the trial, the parties presented 371 exhibits and testimony from 41 witnesses. On May 8, 2017, after the eight-day trial, the court instructed the jury on the law. It told the jury that its "decision must be based only on the evidence presented during the trial" and that it "must not be influenced in any way either by sympathy for or prejudice against the defendant or the government." And, the court said, the jury "must follow the law" as the court explained it, "even if [the jurors] d[id] not agree with the law," and "must follow all of [the court's] instructions as a whole." The court explained that the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt required "real doubt, based on [the jury's] reason and common sense after [ ] carefully and impartially consider[ing] all the evidence in the case." Then it emphasized that the jury "must consider only the evidence that [the court] ha[d] admitted in the case."

         After instructing the jury on the elements of the charged offenses, the court told the jurors that they were the "judges of the facts" and that their "only interest [was] to seek the truth from the evidence in the case." Before the jury started deliberations, the court identified the alternates and ordered them to stay in the courthouse and to continue to not discuss the case. The jury then began deliberating.

         B.

         It wasn't too long before trouble began to brew. In the evening of May 9, Juror 8 (who was not the foreperson) called the courtroom deputy and reported that she and other jurors had "concerns" about Juror 13. In particular, Juror 8 conveyed that from the outset of deliberations, Juror 13 had been speaking about "Higher Beings" in connection with Brown's name. The courtroom deputy immediately informed Juror 8 that she could not discuss the matter with her but advised Juror 8 that she would report the matter to the district judge, which she did. Once the district judge learned of the problem, he communicated with counsel about the situation that evening (May 9).

         First thing the next morning (May 10), the court convened a hearing with counsel and Brown on the matter, where it stated for the record what had transpired the evening before. At the hearing, the district court stated, "[I]t is difficult to tell how serious [the alleged problem] is. It-you know, it could well just be part of the natural frustration or dialogue or tensions that go on in any jury deliberations." For this reason, when the government asked the court to interview Juror 8, the district court responded by asking, "[I]s there something less than doing that, such as just readvising the jury on their duties and responsibilities and having them resume their deliberations that would be sufficient?"

         But both parties agreed that "it would [not] be sufficient, given the circumstances, just to bring the jury in and to remind them of their obligations." Defense counsel remarked, "[T]here may not be a problem necessarily with [Juror 13] . . . . There could be an issue with [Juror 8] . . ., if she was discussing this perhaps on the way in or the way out."

         The district court acknowledged defense counsel's point that "[i]t could be the first juror that's a problem." Then the court "reluctantly" agreed to inquire of Juror 8.

         Juror 8 entered the courtroom, and the district judge instructed her,

Before I ask you any questions or talk to you, I want to make sure that you know that I am not asking you to, nor should you, state or reveal in anything you say your own opinions or positions about any of the deliberations that you've been having or any of the issues in this case, nor should you disclose or discuss the opinions of any of the other jurors about any of the deliberations that have gone on. So I want to be clear about that.

         The court next asked the juror to share her concerns. Juror 8 related that she had memorialized her concerns in a letter, which the court copied for the parties. The letter read,

Your honor
With all due respect, I'm a little concerned about a statement made by Juror #13 when we began deliberation. He said "A Higher Being told me Corrine Brown was Not Guilty on all charges". He later went on to say he "trusted the Holy Ghost". We all asked that he base his verdict on the evidence provided, the testimony of the witnesses and the laws of the United States court. Other members of the Jury share my concern.
Thank You,
Juror #8

         After the court and the parties learned of the contents of the letter, the court asked Juror 8 some follow-up questions. In response, Juror 8 said that Juror 13 had made the statement about the "Higher Being" when the jury "first went into deliberation" and that he had commented about the "Holy Ghost" "shortly after, maybe within a few hours after." Upon further questioning, Juror 8 reported that Juror 13 had not made any additional statements to the same effect, that it appeared the juror had been deliberating, and that nothing about the situation was interfering with her own ability to deliberate in compliance with court's instructions. Nevertheless, Juror 8 expressed concern that Juror 13's beliefs about a "Higher Being" and the "Holy Ghost" were "going to interfere in his ability to [deliberate in the way that the court has directed]." Juror 8 also advised that "[s]ome of the jurors are concerned that that's affecting his-his decision."

         Then, in response to questions from defense counsel, Juror 8 explained that nobody had asked her to come forward with the information, that she did not think the other jurors were even aware that she had come forward, and that she learned of the other jurors' concerns about the statements during the deliberations, in Juror 13's presence. The court thanked Juror 8 and instructed her to "keep this discussion to [her]self." Then the juror left the courtroom.

         The government then argued that the court should question the foreperson. Defense counsel disagreed, asserting that no further steps were necessary.

         After hearing the parties' arguments, the court noted that "people pray for guidance and so forth," and that doing so is permissible and "to be respected." Nevertheless, it worried, "[I]f this juror is, in effect, raising some religious view that would prevent him from ever determining that a defendant was guilty on charges or that Ms. Brown was guilty on charges, that is problematic." Putting it in starker terms, the district court wondered aloud what would have happened if Juror 13 had instead said that he "trusted in the Holy Ghost to find Ms. Brown guilty of all charges."

         Defense counsel then suggested that "if [Juror 13] can come out and satisfy the court that he's willing to follow [its] instructions on the law," the court should accept that assurance. The district court responded, "Well, I am certainly open to that possibility[, ] . . . but I think I need to ask him."

         So the court decided to question Juror 13. Juror 13 entered the courtroom and the following colloquy ensued:

Court: Do you remember back when you were selected for the jury that one of the questions that [the judge] asked you was whether you had any political, religious, or moral beliefs that would preclude you from serving as a fair and impartial juror in this case? Do you remember that question?
Juror: I do.
Court: Okay. And I assume at that time that you answered that question no, is that right, that you did not-
Juror: That is correct.
Court: Okay. And is that-is that still the case? Are you having any difficulties with any religious or moral beliefs that are, at this point, bearing on or interfering with your ability to decide the case on the facts presented and on the law as I gave it to you in the instructions?
Juror: No, [S]ir.
Court: Okay. Do you consider yourself to have been deliberating with your other jurors according to the law and the instructions that the court gave to you before you went in to deliberate?
Juror: We have been going over all the individual numbers, as far as-
Court: Yeah, I don't want to hear anything about the deliberations.
Juror: Yes, [S]ir.
Court: But I'm just asking you: Are you-do you consider yourself to be following the court's instructions in terms of the law and how you go about what you're doing, free from any influence of religion or political or moral beliefs? Are you able to do that? Have you been doing that?
Juror: I've been following-I've been following and listening to what has been presented and making a determination from that, as to what I think and believe.
Court: Okay. That's fine. So let me get a little more specific with you. Have you expressed to any of your fellow jurors any religious sentiment, to the effect that a higher being is telling you how-is guiding you on these-on these decisions, or that you are trusting in your religion to-to base your decisions on? Have you made any-can you think of any kind of statements that you may have made to any of your fellow jurors along those lines?
Juror: I did, yes.
Court: Okay. Can you tell me, as best you can, what you said?
Juror: Absolutely. I told them that in all of this, in listening to all the information, taking it all down, I listen for the truth, and I know the truth when the truth is spoken. So I expressed that to them, and how I came to that conclusion.
Court: Okay. And in doing so, have you invoked a higher power or a higher being? I mean, have you used those terms to them in expressing yourself?
Juror: Absolutely. I told-I told them that-that I prayed about this, I have looked at the information, and that I received information as to what I was told to do in relation to what I heard here today-or this past two weeks.
Court: Sure. When you say you received information, from what source? I mean, are you saying you received information from-
Juror: My Father in Heaven.
Court: Okay. Is it a fair statement-I don't want to put words in your mouth. But are you saying that you have prayed about this and that you have received guidance from the Father in Heaven about how you should proceed?
Juror: Since we've been here, [S]ir.
Court: Do you view that in any way-as you know, when I instructed you, I, as I do for-for all juries-you had told [the judge] that you had no religious or any-you did not have any religious or moral beliefs that would preclude you from serving as a fair and impartial juror, nor did you have any religious or moral beliefs that would preclude you from sitting in judgment of another person. So you told [the judge] that. And then you also-of course, you heard my instruction, where you have to base your decision only on the evidence presented during the trial and follow the law as I explained it. Do you feel that you have been doing that?
Juror: Yes, [S]ir, I do.
Court: Do you feel that there is any inconsistency in the prayer that you've had or the guidance you're receiving and your duty to base your decision on the evidence and the law?
Juror: You said a few-you said a few things. Repeat, please.
Court: Do you feel that there's any religious tension, or is your religion and your obvious sincere religious beliefs-do you believe it at all to be interfering or impeding your ability to base your decision solely on the evidence in the case and following the law that I've explained to you?
Juror: No, [S]ir. I followed all the things that you presented. My religious beliefs are going by the testimonies of people given here, which I believe that's what we're supposed to do, and then render a decision on those testimonies, and the evidence presented in the room.

         The court instructed Juror 13 to wait outside the courtroom while it conferred with counsel for both sides. The government asserted that Juror 13 had admitted he was "guided by what he believes a deity told him to do, and is apparently implementing that, and not by the court's instructions on the law." For this reason, the government argued, the court should release him and seat an alternate juror in his place. Although defense counsel disagreed, emphasizing that Juror 13 had assured the court he was following the court's instructions and did not say that he was disregarding the court's instructions, he nonetheless conceded that he could "understand the concern that the court would have here with the statement about receiving guidance."

         After hearing out counsel, the court proposed asking Juror 13 directly, "Did you ever make the statement that a higher being told me that Corrine Brown was not guilty on all charges?" Neither party objected. So the court brought Juror 13 back into the courtroom, and the following colloquy ensued:

Court: If you could just have a seat again, [S]ir. And I appreciate your patience with us. And I-I want you to understand I am not criticizing you or saying you did anything wrong. We're just trying to figure some things out here. So what I want to ask you is a fairly direct question:
Did you ever say to your fellow jurors or to a fellow juror during your-during the time that y'all worked together, when the 12 started, something to this effect, A higher being told me that Corrine Brown was not guilty on all charges? Did you say something like that? Did you say that or something like that to any of your fellow jurors?
Juror: When we were giving why we were-insight, as far as not guilty or whatever for the first charge, yes.
Court: Did you say the words, A higher being told me that Corrine Brown was not guilty on all charges?
Juror: No. I said the Holy Spirit told me that.
Court: Okay. And you-and I don't want to get into your deliberations. But at what point in the deliberations was that? Was it at the beginning? Was it early in the deliberations? When was it?
Juror: I mentioned it in the very beginning when we were on the first charge.

         The court sent Juror 13 back to the jury room.

         C.

         Based on this exchange, the government asked the court to excuse Juror 13 and seat the first alternate juror. Defense counsel disagreed. He argued the court should interpret Juror 13's statement as that of a person of deep faith "saying that something he believed beforehand had been reaffirmed by the evidence that he saw."

         In resolving the issue, the court noted that "a district court should excuse a juror during deliberations only when no substantial possibility exists that she's basing her decision on the sufficiency of the evidence." Turning to the facts, the court recognized that unlike in other cases, Juror 13 had not announced that he was unwilling or unable to follow the court's instructions. Rather, the juror assured the court that he believed he was applying the court's instructions properly. And, the court explained, "the fact that somebody prays for guidance or is seeking guidance from whatever religious tradition they come from is perfectly appropriate and not a grounds to dismiss a juror, necessarily." Nevertheless, the court announced that it would excuse Juror Number 13 based on the following reasoning:

In this case, Juror N[umber] 13, very earnest, very sincere, I'm sure believes that he is trying to follow the court's instructions, I'm sure believes that he is rendering proper jury service, but, upon inquiry and observing Juror N[umber] 13, there is no question that he has made statements that he is, quote, receiving information from a higher authority as part of his deliberative process, and in response to the court's direct inquiry as to whether he had said to other jurors, quote, A higher being told me Corrine Brown was not guilty on all charges, closed quote, Juror N[umber] 13 said that he-what he actually said was that the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit told me Corrine Brown was not guilty on all charges.
And a juror who makes that statement to other jurors and introduces that concept into the deliberations, especially- anytime, but this happened to be very early in the deliberations, is a juror that is injecting religious beliefs that are inconsistent with the instructions of the court, that this case be decided solely on the law as the court gave it to the jury and the evidence in the case.
Because, by definition, it's not that the person is praying for guidance so that the person can be enlightened, it's that the higher being-or the Holy Spirit is directing or telling the person what disposition of the charges should be made.
And based upon my reading of the case law in other cases where religious beliefs have caused a juror to be struck, this statement by the juror, which he forthrightly admitted to, and which was accurately, apparently, recounted by Juror N[umber] 8, who brought this to our attention, is a disqualifying statement.
And-and it appears to the court, looking and judging the credibility of Juror N[umber] 13, that he was hesitant at first to explain to me how his religious views have come to the fore during deliberations.
But as we progressed and as he told me he received information from a higher source, and then as he later confirmed the actual statement that the Holy Spirit told him that Ms. Brown was not guilty on all charges, that- that he has expressed views and holds views that I think are inconsistent with his sworn duty as a juror in this case, because he's not able to deliberate in a way that follows the law and instructions that the court gave to him.
I want to be very clear that I am drawing a distinction between someone who's on a jury who is religious and who is praying for guidance or seeking inspiration, or whatever mode that person uses to try to come to a proper decision, from this situation, where the juror is actually saying that an outside force, that is, a higher being, a Holy Spirit, told him that Ms. Brown was not guilty on those charges. And I think that's just an expression that's a bridge to[o] far, consistent with jury service as we know it.
I recognize that whenever you're in the area of religious belief, and-and people who have different ways of expressing their religious beliefs, that you're in territory that's difficult to navigate.
But in my view, the record is clear, and that not only did Juror N[umber] 13 make this statement, but it appears that he continues to believe that he is being told by a higher power how he ought to proceed in these deliberations, and he has shared that with the other jurors, which, again, is essentially a violation, not a-not a willful violation by Juror N[umber] 13, but a violation of the court's instructions to base the decision only on the law and the facts that were adduced at trial, and in accordance with the court's instructions.

         Ultimately, the court found "beyond a reasonable doubt" that there was "no substantial possibility" that Juror 13 would be "able to base his decision only on the evidence and the law as the court gave it to him in the instructions" and that Juror 13 was instead "using external forces to bring to bear on his decision-making in a way that's inconsistent with his jury service and his oath." In light of this conclusion, the court excused Juror 13 for good cause.

         Then, because Juror 13 had been removed from the jury, the parties agreed that the court should seat the first alternate in his place. After the first alternate joined the jury, the court instructed the jury to start deliberations anew, and the jurors assured the court that they would do so.

         D.

         Two jury notes and eleven hours of new deliberations later, the jury found Brown not guilty on four of the fraud counts but guilty on all remaining counts.

         Brown moved for a new trial. She argued the court wrongly dismissed Juror 13 because there was a "substantial possibility" that the "holy spirit was actually the juror's own mind or spirit telling him that one or more witnesses had not testified truthfully." The government opposed Brown's motion.

         In a written order, the district court denied Brown's motion. Though the court once again acknowledged that "a juror is fully entitled to his religious beliefs and may espouse them," the court found that in this case, Juror 13's "religious beliefs compelled him to disregard [the] instructions [he had received from the court on the law and how to evaluate the evidence] and instead follow direction from the 'Holy Spirit' to find the defendant 'not guilty on all charges.'" Indeed, the court determined that Juror 13 "sincerely believed he had received instructions from an outside source before deliberations began about what his verdict should be . . . ." The court also specifically found that Juror 13's "statement that he was following [the court's] instructions did not convince [the court] that he was able to do so." Juror 13's seeming "unaware[ness] of the inconsistency" between following the court's instructions and taking supposed direction from the Holy Spirit "reinforc[ed] [the court's] belief that he would be unable to follow the Court's instructions even if [ ] again directed [ ] to do so."

         In addressing the defendant's claim that Juror 13's statement was simply his evaluation of the sufficiency of the evidence, the district court disagreed, calling this assessment "a mischaracterization of the situation[, ]" since Juror 13 said "he had expressed a conclusion from the beginning of the deliberations and without discussion with his fellow jurors, in violation of the Court's instructions." Plus, the court continued, Juror 13's statements "necessarily had to impact the overall deliberations because Juror [ ] 13 was telling his fellow jurors that he was basing his verdict on direction apart from those in the Court's instructions." For all these reasons, the court concluded "beyond a reasonable doubt that there was no substantial possibility that [Juror 13] could base his decision on the sufficiency of the evidence and the Court's instructions."

         Finally, the court emphasized that its decision did not suggest that persons of religious faith were unsuitable for jury service, but only that all jurors must "render a verdict based on the evidence presented in court."

         E.

         The court sentenced Brown to serve an aggregate sentence of 60 months. It also entered a forfeiture and restitution order. By that order, the court found that Brown had "obtained $664, 292.39 in proceeds from the offenses of conviction" and that she was "liable individually" for that amount. Brown did not respond to the government's motion for forfeiture and restitution or object to the court's order.

         II.

         In this appeal, Brown first argues that the district court's decision to dismiss Juror 13 was reversible error. Her contentions fall into four categories: (1) the district court lacked a sufficient basis to inquire into Juror 13's statements in the first place; (2) the district court abused its discretion when, after questioning Juror 13, it found good cause to excuse him; (3) Juror 13's responses during the court's inquiry violated Rule 606(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence; and (4) the district court's dismissal of Juror 13 constituted plain error because it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") and Brown's First Amendment right to freedom of religion and her Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous jury verdict. After careful consideration, we are not persuaded by any of these arguments.

         We begin with a review of the governing standards. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(b)(3) allows the district court, on a finding of "good cause," to excuse a juror after deliberations have begun.[1] "Good cause" exists only when there is "no substantial possibility" that a juror "is basing her decision on the sufficiency of the evidence." United States v. Abbell, 271 F.3d 1286, 1303 (11th Cir. 2001). We have explained that in this context, "substantial possibility" means "a tangible possibility, not just a speculative hope," which "basically" amounts to "a 'beyond reasonable doubt' standard." Id. at 1302, 1302 n.14.

         The "good cause" standard accounts for two competing concerns: (1) it vindicates the defendant's right to a unanimous verdict of guilt by ensuring that a court does not dismiss a juror during deliberations because that juror "'harbors [doubts] about the sufficiency of the government's evidence[, ]'" United States v. Oscar, 877 F.3d 1270, 1287 (11th Cir. 2017) (quoting United States v. Brown, 823 F.2d 591, 596 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (alteration added)); and (2) it "protect[s] each party's right to receive a verdict rendered by a jury that follows the law[, ]" United States v. Kemp, 500 F.3d 257, 304 (3d Cir. 2007); Oscar, 877 F.3d at 1287.

         We review for abuse of discretion a district court's decision to remove a juror during deliberations. Abbell, 271 F.3d at 1302. And "we will reverse the district court only if we find that it discharged the juror without factual ...


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