In State v. Khalid Mohammed, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the criminal conviction of a defendant despite the fact that a juror apparently dozed during the pre-trial instructions, which apparently were inconsequential. While this case does not break any new ground, it does provide lower courts some guidance, excerpted below, on what to do when they come across an inattentive juror.
When it is alleged that a juror was inattentive during a consequential part of the trial, if the trial court concludes, based upon personal observations explained adequately on the record, that the juror was alert, the inquiry ends. If the judge did not observe the juror’s attentiveness, the judge must conduct individual voir dire of the juror; if that voir dire leads to any conclusion other than that the juror was attentive and alert, the judge must take appropriate corrective action.
To read the opinion in full go here.