Juror Intimidation by Law Enforcement (Tarango v. E.K. McDaniel)
It appears that juror intimidation can come in many shapes and sizes to include surveillance by the police. In Tarango v. E.K. McDaniel, the petitioner, Manuel Tarango, filed a habeas corpus petition claiming that he was denied a right to a fair and impartial jury when a police vehicle "followed a known hold-out juror, for approximately seven miles, on the second day of deliberation in a highly publicized trial involving multiple police victims." While the federal district court denied petitioner's habeas petition, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated that decision. In doing so, the three-judge appellate panel held that "the Nevada Supreme Court's decision upholding the petitioner's convictions was contrary to Mattox v. United States, 146 U.S. 140 (1892), because the court improperly limited its inquiry to whether the external contact amounted to a 'communication' and did not investigate the prejudicial effect of the police tail." In denying the petitioner's prior request for relief, the Nevada Supreme Court had questioned whether a juror being followed by a police car constituted a "communication" and if it did whether that communication was "about a matter pending before the jury."
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently remanded the case for an evidentiary hearing and further fact finding.