An Eastern District judge’s pretrial shuffling of jurors in the Crown Heights, N.Y., civil rights prosecution met with a dubious panel of judges yesterday at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

During oral arguments, both prosecutors and defense lawyers admitted that Judge David G. Trager violated Rule 24(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure by going out of order to select alternates after two of the initial jurors were dismissed on the brink of the 1997 trial.

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