The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the trial judge should have conducted further inquiry when three jurors stated that they could not continue deliberating because they were not being paid by their employers for the days they were on jury duty:
The court should have granted the defense request for inquiries into whether the financial pressure the jurors were experiencing had any bearing on their ability to deliberate fairly. In People v Hines (191 AD2d 274 [1st Dept 1993], lv denied 81 NY2d 1074 ), this Court held that although “financial hardship is generally not a sufficient reason to warrant discharge when the trial is near completion,” the trial court “should have ascertained whether the juror’s financial difficulties would have affected his ability to deliberate impartially” (id. at 276). Similarly, in People v Cook (52 AD3d 255, 256 [1st Dept 2008], lv denied 11 NY3d 735 ), we observed that “a juror’s personal or financial inconvenience alone would be insufficient to establish the requisite manifest necessity” for a mistrial, but we went on to state that the fact that “the juror was unable to declare her continued ability to deliberate fairly” weighed in favor of a mistrial.
Here, the jury’s note raised the possibility that one or more of the jurors referred to was unqualified, and the fact that they did not specifically volunteer, in their colloquies with the court, that financial pressures might compromise their impartiality did not obviate the necessity of an inquiry. People v Alexander, 2019 NY Slip Op 07715, First Dept 10-29-19