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Rule 24(c) authorizes the replacement of jurors who, 'prior to the time the jury retires to consider its verdict, become or are found to be unable or disqualified to perform their duties.' See United States v. Smith, 550 F.2d 277, 285 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 841 (1977): before a juror may be replaced by an alternate under Rule 24(c), sufficient facts must be presented to convince the trial judge that the juror's ability to perform his duties has been impaired. An appeals court reviews for abuse of discretion a district court's decision to replace a juror with an alternate. A trial court's exercise of discretion in excusing a juror under Rule 24(c) is not to be disturbed by an appellate court without a showing of bias or prejudice to the defendant. Id. See also United States v. Trigg, 988 F.2d 1008, 1011 (9th Cir. 1993). United States v. Gay, 967 F.2d 322, 324 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 121 L. Ed. 2d 272, 113 S. Ct. 359 (1992).

Whether a juror's absence is sufficiently disruptive to warrant removal is . . . a function of the managerial complexity of the case, the flexibility of the ...

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