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no impeachment rule, Sixth Amendment, impartial jury, racial bias, rules of evidence, jury decision-making


The no impeachment rule bars the admission into evidence of juror testimony regarding jury deliberations in proceedings questioning the validity of a verdict. In Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado (2017), the U.S. Supreme Court created a constitutional exception to the no impeachment rule to allow impeachment of a verdict by a juror’s testimony regarding a fellow juror’s clear statement during jury deliberations indicating reliance on racial bias as a substantial motivating factor for that juror’s vote. This study traces the history of the no impeachment rule, analyzes the Court’s decision in Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado (2017), examines variation in exceptions provided by states’ statutory no impeachment rules, and discusses the likely impact of Pena-Rodriguez as well as policy implications of the current state of no impeachment statutes.

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This article has been published as:

Rowe, B. I., & McCann, W. (2018). Runaway jury: An analysis of state laws concerning juror impeachment. Criminal Justice Policy Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0887403418805150

The final, definitive version is available at

Brenda I. Rowe and Wesley S. McCann, Runaway jury: An analysis of state laws concerning juror impeachment, Criminal Justice Policy Review. Copyright © 2018 SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/0887403418805150.