Page:Federal Reporter, 1st Series, Volume 6.djvu/862

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850 FEDERAL BEPORTEB. �influenced by it so as to render him an unfair and prejudiced juror? �Doubtless there may be cases of misbehavior in which the court could say without hesitation that the mind of the juror could not possibly have been affected by the misconduct im- puted to him. Many illustrations may be found in the books of misbehavior without prejudice in this sense. Thus, if, after the jury should find their verdict and seal it up, and be- fore its delivery in court a juror should talk with third persons about the merita of the case, there would be clearly misbe- havior, but not prejudice in the proper sense of the word. The court might pronounce -without hesitation that the communi- cations made to the juror under such circumstances could not possibly have influenced him in finding the verdict. In such case there would be misconduct withou prejudice. But where the natural tendency of what a juror does or says or willingly listens to from others is to bias his mind, or where bis mis- conduct evinces a prejudgment of the case, or ill-will, or passion against the losing party, the inference of prejudice in the true sense inevitably follows, because the verdict can- not be said to be the result of a f air trial. There is no right more sacred than the right to a f air trial. There is no wrong more grievous than the negation of that right. An unfair trial adds a deadly pang to the bitterness of defeat. �Now,the human mind is constituted so that what one him- self publicly declares touching any controversy is much more potent in biasing his judgment and confirming hia predilec- tions than similar declarations which he may hear uttered by -other persons. When most men commit themselves publicly to any fact, theory, or judgment they are too apt to stand by their own public declarations, in defiance of evidence. This pride of opinion and of conaistency belongs to human nature. Where, therefore, a juror talks outside the jury room about a case pending and undeoided before him, he gives theclearest evidence that he is not an impartial and unbiased juror. The Tery discussion of any matter by a juror elsewhere than in the jury room tends to the forming of false impressions and pre- jurlgments. Nor will it do for a muinent to accept the state- ��� �