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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:During the defendant’s trial on intoxication manslaughter and aggravated assault charges, the trial court empanelled a jury, and made prepatory remarks. He then excused the venire, saying that anyone who wanted to “plead economic excuses” to stay and tell the court about it. Juror No. 2 approached the bench and said that he would not be paid if he didn’t show up for work; that he would lose $100 day; that his wife was employed with the school district but was on vacation for the summer; that all of his children were grown, but that one pregnant daughter who did not live with him was nonetheless not working. The trial court granted the juror’s request, noting the defendant’s objection. The state said it would not object whether the juror remained or was let go. The defendant was convicted on two counts and sentenced to 50 years for each one. He now appeals, arguing the juror was wrongly excused under Government Code �62.110. HOLDING:Reversed. Section 62.110 is titled “judicial excuse of juror” and mentions excuse “for an economic reason” only if both sides approve. The court notes that its case law has distinguished between excuses for economic reasons versus excuses for job-related matters. “In the instant case, the veniremember offered only economic reasons for not serving: ‘It is going to make a burden for me because my family because we count on my paycheck every week. It’s going to cost me $100 a day. If I stay here, I won’t get paid.’ Since this excuse included loss of compensation, salaries, wages, the suffering of a financial burden, and other economic consequences, we hold the trial judge excused the veniremember ‘for an economic reason.’ “ The court rejects the state’s argument that C.C.P. Art. 35.03 gave the trial court the authority to hear excuses and discharge a juror or postpone his service. The court finds that the Code of Criminal Procedure is about exemptions, and does not trump specific Government Code provisions about excuses. And under �62.110, specifically dealing with excuses for economic reasons, the trial court may not excuse juror without the approval of both parties. The court then turns to the effect of the error. The court finds a traditional harm analysis inappropriate because the composition of the venire panel is a structural error, that is, it goes to the constitutionality of the trial mechanism. OPINION:Baird, J.; Valdez, Rodriguez and Baird, JJ.

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