Argued May 28, 2014
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. No. 12-CR-30226-2 -- G. Patrick Murphy and David R. Herndon, Judges.
For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Neal C. Hong, Attorney, Office of The United States Attorney, Criminal Division, Fairview Heights, IL.
For Susan L. Harris, Defendant - Appellant: Johanna M. Christiansen, Attorney, Office of The Federal Public Defender, Peoria, IL; John C. Taylor, Attorney, Office of The Federal Public Defender, Urbana, IL.
Before RIPPLE, WILLIAMS, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.
What makes a jury anonymous? That is the question
posed by Susan Harris, who argues that she was improperly tried by an anonymous
jury and that such a trial violated her due process rights. However, because
Harris has not met her burden and shown one necessary component of an anonymous
jury--that the parties were kept from knowing the potential jurors' names--we
reject her argument and affirm her conviction.
Because the facts of the crime do not affect our decision, we only briefly outline
them. Susan Harris worked at a hospital in Southwest Illinois alongside her friend Ashley Drummond. Harris stopped working at the hospital before the relevant time period, but Drummond continued to do so and eventually began working a second job with Harris, namely stealing people's identities. Drummond, originally charged as a co-defendant in this case before pleading guilty, testified at trial that she and Harris came up with the idea to get money by applying for credit cards using the birthdates and social security numbers Drummond stole from patients' files. Harris figured out the process would be a lot easier if they targeted patients who came from nursing homes because copies of their social security cards and relevant information were on the back of their charts.
After Drummond stole the information, both Harris and Drummond filled out credit card applications using the stolen information and certain of their own information. For example, Harris filled out one credit card application with a victim's name and social security number, but put down Harris's address--where the card was ultimately delivered--and Harris's email, and activated the card using Harris's phone number. Harris and Drummond executed this scheme and stole ten different patients' identities before being caught when Drummond was captured on video using one of the fraudulently obtained credit cards. Drummond flipped on Harris and Harris was charged with, and ultimately convicted of, conspiracy to commit mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 and aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A.
During voir dire --when the parties and court determine the makeup of the jury by asking potential jurors questions--the district court judge introduced himself and explained the jury selection process to the potential juror pool. After the ...