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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A jury found appellant guilty of delivery of a controlled substance, and the trial court assessed his punishment at 30 years of confinement. HOLDING:Affirmed. The appellant contends the trial court erred in ordering a jury shuffle, sua sponte, after the commencement of voir dire. The court agrees. In Ford v. State, 73 S.W.3d 923 (Tex. Crim. App. 2002), the court observed the “[t]he jury shuffle is designed to ensure the compilation of a random list of jurors, and that the trial judge’s denial of the defendant’s request for shuffle does not, in itself, indicate a non-random listing of the venire.” Therefore, no harm is shown absent a showing that the process of assembling a jury panel was subverted to achieve a non-random listing of the venire. There is nothing in the record of the instant case indicating that the listing of the jury, before or after the shuffle, was other than random. The substantial right involved in the instant case is the right to a random listing of the venire. Although it appears that the trial court deprived the appellant of a tactical advantage, under the holding in Ford, no harm is shown. The appellant cites Holloway v. State, 666 S.W.2d 104 (Tex. Crim. App. 1984), for the proposition that the trial court commits reversible error in failing to grant a defendant’s challenge for cause when a prospective juror cannot state unequivocally that he or she would be fair and impartial. However, more recent authority dictates that when a panel member is equivocal as to his or her ability to follow the law relating to the privilege against self-incrimination, the appellate court must defer to the trial court’s judgment. Brown v. State, 913 S.W.2d 577 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996). The appellant urges in his third issue that the trial court erred in excusing venireman Harry Stone after voir dire began. During voir dire, Harry Stone said that he was acquainted with the appellant’s attorney. After the voir dire examination of the panel was substantially completed, Stone told the court that he was willing to serve, but that he needed to take his wife to a specialist in Corsicana the next morning. The court responded, “Mr. Stone, I can’t excuse you on the ground you have explained to me, but if you’re over sixty-five and want to claim the exemption, you can do that.” Stone told the court that he was seventy-eight, and the court told him he was excused. In England, men older than 70 were exempted from jury service by statute in 1285 (West. 2, 13 Edw. I., c. 38). But the exemption could only be claimed by the persons themselves. Although the statute in effect at the time of the appellant’s trial grants the exemption to those over 65, it always has been the law of Texas that a prospective juror can be excused on this basis only if he claims the exemption himself. Breeding v. State, 11 Tex. 257 (1854). The appellant argues that the trial court improperly excused Stone on its own motion, effectively granting the state an extra strike. Martinez v. State, 621 S.W.2d 797 (Tex. Crim. App. 1981). The record, however, reflects that Stone exercised his exemption himself, and the court sees no error in the trial court’s informing him that he had the exemption if he chose to exercise it. OPINION:Bass, J.; Worthen, C.J., Griffith and Bass, JJ.

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