State v. McKinley, Minn.Ct.App., 2/13/2017. A prospective juror in this criminal sexual conduct case flat out lied about his prior record. In answer to a question on the written questionnaire about whether he'd been arrested or convicted of a crime the juror owned up to some but not all of such incidents. The state moved to strike this juror for cause and the trial court granted that request.
Mr. McKinley on appeal said that because the rule, Rule 26.02, subd. 5(1)(1), does not explicitly list "not being forthcoming" as a basis on which to challenge a juror for cause the trial court abused its discretion by granting the challenge. This is a "plain error" review of this claimed error and the court doesn't get past the first requirement, that the error be "plain".
A juror may be challenged for cause when “[t]he juror’s state of mind—in reference to the case or to either party—satisfies the court that the juror cannot try the case impartially and without prejudice to the substantial rights of the challenging party.” Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.02, subd. 5(1)(1). McKinley is correct that nothing in the rule explicitly allows the district court to excuse a juror for cause because a juror does not give truthful, candid answers to the court’s questions on a juror questionnaire or during voir dire. But the rule allows a court to dismiss a prospective juror if the juror demonstrates a state of mind that satisfies the court that the juror cannot try the case impartially. See id.