The jury's verdict on March 2 was guilty: a retired firefighter convicted of stealing souvenirs while volunteering at ground zero. Six weeks later, his lawyers appealed, arguing not over the testimony at the trial, but over the jury that decided the verdict.
Specifically, the lawyers argued, Juror No. 4 was drunk.
My favorite part of the article is this description of another case:
The justice [Justice Ellen M. Coin of State Supreme Court in Manhattan], in her opinion, relied on a 1987 United States Supreme Court decision involving a jury that made Juror No. 4 look like a Calvinist preacher. Those jurors, in a case that was later heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, drank, used cocaine, smoked marijuana, sold drugs to one another and slept through a conspiracy and fraud trial that one juror called ''one big party.''
The firefighter, Samuel Brandon, 60, faces up to nine years in prison for stealing a photograph of a bride and groom at a wedding reception, identification cards of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey employees and a two-way radio. Details here from The New York Times via LexisOne.