A mistrial was declared during jury deliberations in the case against an alleged Boston street gang member accused of murdering a 10-year-old girl Trina Persad after a judge learned that three jurors had failed to disclose their criminal records, says the Boston Globe. The same jury had acquitted a codefendant, who cannot be retried under double jeopardy rules.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley vowed to run criminal background checks on all potential jurors in future criminal cases. He said his office had accepted the truthfulness of answers on the sworn jury questionnaires because people sign them under the penalties of perjury. Massachusetts law permits people with criminal records to serve on juries. Conley said prosecutors would probably have opposed the seating of the three jurors if they had answered their questionnaires truthfully. A criminal background, Conley said, “points to an obvious bias against police.” The judge rebuked the dismissed jurors for violating the “integrity of our jury process.”