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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court

No. SCWC-14-0000358, Thursday, October 1, 2015 , 11:15 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ROYCE C. GOUVEIA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorney for Petitioner:

Keith S. Shigetomi

Attorney for Respondent:

Donn Fudo, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/10/15.

COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SSM, RWP, and MDW, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner-Appellant Royce C. Gouveia (Gouveia) applied for writ of certiorari from the judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA), entered pursuant to its memorandum opinion.

Gouveia was tried for manslaughter in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (circuit court). After the jury retired to deliberate, it sent two communications to the circuit court. The first stated that the jury had reached a verdict. The second stated that during trial the jurors had witnessed a man glaring and whistling at the defendant, and that the jurors were concerned for their safety. Before opening the verdict, the circuit court called in each juror individually to question them regarding whether they had seen the man referred to in the communication, whether it was discussed during the jury’s deliberations, and whether the incident or the discussion of the incident had affected the jurors’ decisions.

After the court and both parties had questioned the jurors, the State moved for a mistrial. The circuit court granted the State’s motion, finding that manifest necessity existed for a mistrial. Gouveia then filed a motion to dismiss the charges for violation of double jeopardy. The circuit court denied Gouveia’s motion. The verdict was later opened and found to be not guilty.

Gouveia appealed to the ICA, arguing that the circuit court abused its discretion in denying his motion to dismiss. The ICA affirmed the circuit court’s denial of Gouveia’s motion to dismiss. In his application for writ of certiorari, Gouveia presents the following three questions:

1. Did a divided Intermediate Court of Appeal erroneously affirm the trial court’s declaration of a mistrial, at the request of Respondent, over Petitioner’s objection, before receiving a jury’s not guilty verdict, based on “manifest necessity” when each juror indicated that his or her verdict was not influenced by an extra-judicial incident?

2. Did a divided Intermediate Court of Appeals erroneously affirm the trial court’s denial of a Motion to Dismiss for Violation of Double Jeopardy based on the trial court’s prior declaration of the mistrial?

3. Did a divided Intermediate Court of Appeal erroneously rely on testimony which should not have been permitted pursuant to Rule 606(b) of the Hawaii Rules of Evidence?