Thursday, June 7, 2018
C.A.: Defendant, Purportedly Nicknamed ‘Payday,’ Not Prejudiced by Payday Bar in Jury Room
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Court of Appeal for this district has rejected the contention of a man who coerced three women into working for him as prostitutes that his convictions should be reversed because there was testimony that his nickname was “Payday” and at least one Payday candy wrapper was found in the jury room.
Tuesday’s unpublished opinion by Justice Victoria Chaney of Div. One affirms the convictions of Calvin A. Banner on 10 counts of pimping, pandering by procuring, kidnapping, and human trafficking. He was sentenced to 67 years and eight months in prison.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney denied a motion for a new trial, saying that the juror who brought a Payday bar into the jury room during the trial was at most guilty of a “bad joke.”
Chaney noted that jurors were instructed to keep open minds and not to prejudge matters.
“Presuming, as we must, that the owner of the Payday bar followed the court’s instructions…, the most we can infer is that testimony during trial about Banner’s nickname put the owner in mind of obtaining a Payday bar,” she wrote. The jurist added:
“Other inferences are possible: The Payday owner may have purchased the candy bar as a gesture of disrespect to Banner, or to indicate his disbelief of Banner’s testimony, or to communicate his thoughts to other jurors. But we can presume no greater misconduct than the evidence allows….Because no evidence supports these or any similar inferences, the presumption that jurors follow court instructions must prevail.
“Banner speculates that Payday candy bars were displayed to the jury and influenced their verdict. But juror misconduct must be established by evidence, not speculation.”
The case is People v. Banner, B282717.
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