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United States, F. Johnson, U. In the words of the Wheeler court, "[a] defendant does not have a constitutional right to plea bargain, see Weatherford v. Bursey, U. Accordingly, we reject Yates's argument because the doctrine of fundamental fairness is inapplicable to proposals made in the context of plea negotiations.

Jury Selection. Yates contends that the trial court violated his federal and state constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury by granting the State's challenges to jurors 39, 52, and 74; by denying the defense's challenges to jurors 9, 29, , and ; and by disallowing the defense's proposed voir dire questions regarding religious affiliation. Under the Sixth Amendment to the federal constitution and article I, section 22 of the Washington State Constitution, a defendant has a right to an impartial jury.

State v. Brown, Wash. Brett, Wash. Wainwright v. Witt, U. Texas, U. Davis, Wash. Illinois, U. Rupe, Wash. Brown, U. She responded "[n]o" to the following question: "In your opinion, should death ever be imposed as a sentence for punishment of a crime? Asked to indicate "[w]hich of the following best describe[d] [her] view of the death penalty," she marked the box "Opposed in every possible circumstance.

When the State questioned juror 39 individually and outside the presence of other jurors , she stated that her views on the death penalty were based on "a philosophy of [hers], [her] personal opinion.


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She affirmed three times that she was opposed to the death penalty in every circumstance. She later indicated that she could vote to impose the death penalty, id. Defense counsel's leading question elicited an ambiguous response:. It is unclear whether juror 39 was agreeing with defense counsel's statement or responding negatively to the tag question "is that right?

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The trial court granted the State's motion: "I'm convinced that her ability is substantially impaired by her personal beliefs, and even in response to my question she drew upon her personal beliefs. Here, the trial court's ruling was not a manifest abuse of discretion.

The court weighed her written and oral responses before concluding that her personal views would substantially impair her ability to impose the death penalty. To describe her view of the death penalty, she checked the box "Generally opposed with very few exceptions. Asked to "state in greater detail [her] opinion about the death sentence," she wrote, "I guess because I've been brought up in church we're not to take a life. Similarly, her "best argument against the death penalty" was that "[n]o one has the right to take another life. In response to questions from the State, she explained that she was a lifelong member of the Church of God and Christ, which opposed ever taking a life.

When asked whether she could vote for the death penalty, she reiterated that her religious views made such a question uncomfortable for her: "Would I vote? That's a hard thing, because it's like going against what I've been taught to go against, to take a life. However, under questioning by defense counsel, juror 52 responded affirmatively to a series of questions regarding civic duty and her ability to follow the law impartially.

The court concluded that juror 52's "religious beliefs and personal commitment are such that she would decline the death penalty in the case.

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See Patton v. Yount, U. The ruling was not a manifest abuse of the trial court's discretion. CJQ 74, at She stated that the death penalty should never be imposed and described her view of the death penalty by checking the box "Opposed in every possible circumstance. She wrote that she did not "believe in the death penalty," that a "person's life [was] not [hers] to take," and that there was "[n]o good argument" for the death penalty.

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In response to the State's questioning, she affirmed her written answers and explained that her views, which she had held for "[m]ost of [her] adult life," were based on a religious and philosophical belief "that if we cause another human being death, we come down to the level of that person. Juror 74 admitted that there was "probably" no possibility she could vote for the death penalty because "it would be a real difficult thing for [her] to do" and "would cause [her] an extreme amount of anxiety.

When defense counsel asked her if she could follow the court's instructions impartially, her answer was equivocal: "Yeah, if I had to, probably. In light of her emphatic written and oral statements, the court reasonably concluded "that her beliefs or opinions would substantially impair the performance of her duties as a juror. Because Yates exercised a peremptory challenge following the denial of each motion, none of the four prospective jurors was seated on his panel. Moreover, at the close of voir dire, Yates retained three unused peremptory challenges. CP at On these facts, Yates cannot establish a Sixth Amendment violation.

Martinez-Salazar, U. Roberts, Wash. Fire, Wash. Thus, even if Yates could establish that the trial court erroneously denied his motions to excuse these four jurors for cause, he would be unable to establish a constitutional violation. Robinson, 75 Wash. The trial court's ruling regarding the scope of voir dire may not be disturbed on appeal "[a]bsent an abuse of discretion and a showing that the accused's rights have been substantially prejudiced thereby. Frederiksen, 40 Wash. Robinson, U.


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See State v. Davis, N. Such questions may be proper, however, if the case involves religious issues "or if the information is a necessary predicate for a voir dire challenge. The trial court in the present case reasonably permitted the written jurors' questionnaire to explore whether a juror's religious views would compromise his or her ability to apply impartially the law regarding the death penalty.

Expressing reservations about the first question, the trial court rejected it, subject to "getting some additional information from [the defense] or the State on whether that direct question can be asked"; the court apparently received no supplemental information. Regarding the three additional questions, the trial court invited counsel to expand questions and , which inquired into the effect of the jurors' religious beliefs on their ability to impose the death penalty.

See supra note However, here again, nothing in the record suggests that the defense sought any modification of the two questions. Additionally, the trial court expressly stated that counsel could "appropriate[ly]. The record shows that the attorneys were permitted to follow up on questionnaire responses regarding the effect of a juror's religious beliefs on his or her ability to impose the death penalty.

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See, e. In some instances, defense counsel asked jurors directly about their notions of mercy.

In light of the foregoing facts, we conclude that the trial court's ruling regarding Yates's proposed voir dire questions was not an abuse of discretion. Jury Instruction on "Common Scheme or Plan.

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In this case, however, the trial court, after considering proposed instructions from the defense and the State, provided the following instruction on the definition of "common scheme or plan":. CP at , Jury Instruction The court's instruction and the State's proposed instruction [13] relied on the two alternative definitions of "common scheme or plan" that this court embraced in State v.