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Racist Woman Given Indefinite Jury Duty

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the the-long-hours-of-the-law dept.

Government 54

A Brooklyn woman known only as "Juror No. 799" upset a federal judge so much with her racist remarks that he put her on indefinite jury duty. When asked to name three people she admired least the woman answered, "African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians." When asked why she answered the question that way, she told Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis, "You always hear about them in the news doing something." Then just for good measure she claimed that "All cops are lazy." Assistant U.S. Attorney Taryn Merkl requested that the woman be disqualified, but Garaufis was not amused saying, "She's coming back [today], Thursday and Friday - and until the future, when I am ready to dismiss her." I look forward to the sitcom based on the case.

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She couldn't find her Star Trek uniform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35736270)

The reverse psychology didn't work.

Good on the judge (1)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35736440)

Given a couple of recent stories here on Slashdot which involve juries and seem to end up with people discussing various ways of getting out of jury duty (of which 'being openly racist / homophobic' etc seem to be the suggested routes) maybe the judge has also been loitering here and read the same posts?

Re:Good on the judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35746338)

Next trial, she just has to try to convince the other jurors to push for jury nullification. She'll be home before lunch time, and never has to come back...

Re:Good on the judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35795854)

No, dipwad, she will never serve on a jury. She will be interviewed for jury pools and not make it. She will have to come in every day and sit. great punishment.

Fitting (0)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35736698)

Jury duty is a form of conscription (aka slavery). He's just kicking it up a notch.

Re:Fitting (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35737306)

No, it's not. And just in case you get any ideas, jury duty is also completely unlike the holocaust, had nothing to do with Hitler, and wasn't executed or sent to Siberia by Stalin. So just stop it.

Re:Fitting (0)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35739670)

No, it's not.

Strong logic there. It's forced labor, under threat of caging or death.

Your turn.

Re:Fitting (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742452)

Death? On which planet is there a death penalty on refusing to do jury duty?

Re:Fitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35743608)

This one I'm afraid.

Don't show for jury duty --> get either a ticket or a warrant. If it's a ticket and you don't pay it you get a warrant. Ignore the warrant (or don't pick up your mail for long enough) and an officer will come out to arrest you. Ignore the knocking on the door (or be deaf) and eventually a team of officers will come by in SWAT gear and break it down. A significant proportion of the time they will then shoot your dog. If you make any sudden moves at that point they shoot you.

Since when they move in it may be dark, confused and difficult to determine if you are armed, there is statistically a better chance of being killed then than after a murderer has been put on trial (especially with all the appeals, etc. etc.).

There you go. Skipping jury duty + time + doing nothing = the same risk of death as the death penalty.

Re:Fitting (1)

bytta (904762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745678)

By your logic, you can make crossing the street seem as dangerous as being on death row.
death toll of some random activity/average time it takes == 0.0001%/a few minutes >= death toll of on death row/average time spent there == 95%/many years

Re:Fitting (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35746714)

What's important is to not look at only the immediate effects, but also the total effects.

If you feel your liberty is being violated by being conscripted for jury 'duty' you might stay home.

If that happens you'll have a warrant put out for your arrest. If you feel that arrest would also violate your liberty, you might resist that arrest, perhaps with force in self-defense. If you're successful in doing so, you'll either immediately or eventually be shot, likely fatally, having your life taken as well as your liberty.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - Thomas Jefferson

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master." -George Washington

It's possible to have an effective society without the violent conscription of individuals onto juries. We should do that.

Re:Fitting (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754216)

It's possible to have an effective society without the violent conscription of individuals onto juries. We should do that.

No one's stopping you from moving to the PRC.

Re:Fitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35755158)

You keep thinking it's easy to emigrate to another country, like any of them have open borders and just let anyone move there permanently. It's cute. Meanwhile back in the real world, my friend in Beijing has been working on a permanent Visa for over eight years now, and even that is only possible because he fell in love with and married a local.

Re:Fitting (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35757676)

No one's stopping you from moving to the PRC.

Right, our government violates its own Constitution, so I should get the hell out. Nice to see the Tories are still alive and well in the US.

Re:Fitting (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35757950)

our government violates its own Constitution, so I should get the hell out.

You say that until you're false accused of a crime. Then you'll pray that enough intelligent people willingly perform their civic duty of serving on a jury.

Re:Fitting (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763754)

You say that until you're false accused of a crime. Then you'll pray that enough intelligent people willingly perform their civic duty of serving on a jury.

That's how it's supposed to be. In reality, they disqualify anybody who might be qualified so that the jurors can be easily swayed. Any personal knowledge of the matter or the parties get one a pass (the notion of 'peers' has been completely corrupted) . And they lie to the jury about their rights and duties. I was called for jury duty last year and had to agree to follow all of the judges orders. I told him if he were to give me an order that violated the Constitution or negated the jury's powers I couldn't do that. I was promptly dismissed.

So, the choice is to violate everybody's human rights or to fear, without evidence, that there wouldn't be enough people willing to sit on juries? The ends don't justify the means in a civil society. And, besides, it's only the sheer number of immoral laws that keeps the caseloads so high. There are so many retired people with nothing to do and plenty of people interested in civic action. My local government has far more volunteer members than paid members, and there's never an empty position. Don't underestimate the human spirit.

Re:Fitting (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764050)

In reality, they disqualify anybody who might be qualified so that the jurors can be easily swayed.

When I went through jury selection, I told the lawyers that the Reasonable Doubt is a very high burden for the prosecutor to overcome.

You'd think that she (the prosecutor was a black woman) would have immediately dismissed me for such a pro-defense statement, but didn't happen.

Re:Fitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764776)

Maybe she'd seen enough persecution based on people not following that tenet to believe that you would be more fair and impartial than the other jury candidates.

Re:Fitting (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793874)

you would be more fair and impartial than the other jury candidates.

Fair and impartial jurors are the last thing they want. They want jurors who can be swayed easily.

Correlation is not causation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35793050)

I was called for jury duty last year and had to agree to follow all of the judges orders. I told him if he were to give me an order that violated the Constitution or negated the jury's powers I couldn't do that. I was promptly dismissed.

Isn't it possible that the judge correctly decided that you were an abrasive, unlikable person, and dismissed you just because they felt you'd likely be a pain in the ass?

Re:Correlation is not causation (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793916)

Isn't it possible that the judge correctly decided that you were an abrasive, unlikable person

Oh dear, holding someone to the due responsibility of their position and expecting them to carry out their duties lawfully makes me abrasive and unlikable...

Re:Fitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35755182)

Could you please answer the question above? You said "under threat of caging or death". In reality, there is no threat of death as far as I can tell, so therefore, please tell me what you believe constitutes a threat of death.

Re:Fitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35850650)

You don't know a thing about the US penal system, do you?

Re:Fitting (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35780154)

So you'd have no problem being put on trial with no jury? I'm sure those individuals volunteering for jury duty wouldn't be biased at all.

Re:Fitting (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35781772)

So you'd have no problem being put on trial with no jury? I'm sure those individuals volunteering for jury duty wouldn't be biased at all.

I live in a place where nearly the entire government is run by volunteers, and they may have their own biases, but they operate in a typically fair manner.

Re:Fitting (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35827350)

Actually I would prefer a court of professional judges who
a) actually know the law
b) are accountable for misjudgements they made
That said, no trial should be held behind closed doors.
Btw. The "Trial without jury" thing is actually quite popular in europe.

Stupid git. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35784538)

Sorry, but warrants are covered under the Constitution. So once one is issued to bring you in, if you resist you're on the wrong side of justice. And you deserve whatever justice you get.

If you want a libertarian paradise, try Somalia.

Re:Fitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35791604)

You simply do not understand what civil liberties actually are. Unlimited guns, no seat belts, no jury duty, and not voting. Spoilt brat of a rotting democracy.

Re:Fitting (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35817676)

What's important is to not look at only the immediate effects, but also the total effects.

If you feel your liberty is being violated by being conscripted for jury 'duty' you might stay home.

If that happens you'll have a warrant put out for your arrest. If you feel that arrest would also violate your liberty, you might resist that arrest, perhaps with force in self-defense. If you're successful in doing so, you'll either immediately or eventually be shot, likely fatally, having your life taken as well as your liberty.

I can't quite believe that anyone who can write in full sentences can be so retarded.

Re:Fitting (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35833952)

I can't quite believe that anyone who can write in full sentences can be so retarded.

No, that's a strong argument! What happened, did your world view get disrupted by logic?

Re:Fitting (2)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35745958)

Sometimes something is so ridiculous that a simple repudiation is the obvious refutation. Jury duty is a duty. It's not slavery.

Slavery is when work is stolen from a person for no pay. Jury duty is a duty. A duty is an obligation we owe to other people. Therefore jury duty isn't work that is stolen, it's already owed to other people. If a person doesn't perform their duty, then it is they who are stealing from other people.

Re:Fitting (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763806)

Slavery is when work is stolen from a person for no pay.

Slaves were paid with room and board. In my State, our Constitution specifies that jurors be "fully compensated for their time, travel, and attendance." At most, they pay a fraction of IRS mileage.

Jury duty is a duty. A duty is an obligation we owe to other people.

This is a tautology. Tell me, how was this obligation created?

If a person doesn't perform their duty, then it is they who are stealing from other people.

This is a statement of a so-called 'positive right'. The USA was founded on the concept of negative reciprocity, explicitly rejecting any 'positive rights' (which were features of the Roosevelt Progressive Era of socialism).

Re:Fitting (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764808)

The obligation is created by reaping all the benefits of being a citizen of the United States. You are better than you would have been otherwise, and for that you owe a duty to your fellow citizens. If you had not wanted this from your fellow citizens, then you shouldn't have taken it.

Now do the duty that you owe to your fellow citizens. We're not chumps. Pay for what you have received.

Re:Fitting (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771864)

Suppose we create something new called "farming duty" where they make a certain class of people toil on other peoples' farmland (we'll call them duty-tations) under threat of prison or whipping for room and board. Sound good?

Re:Fitting (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35774090)

There are already professional farmers, so your suggestion is as dumb as you are.

The sentence starting with "Suppose we..." is as open ended as it could be. Just because you can complete the sentence doesn't mean it makes any sense as an argument.

Re:Fitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35757818)

Slaves don't stop being slaves at the end of the day. Or week. Or year. Slaves are property, and continue to be property indefinitely.

Jury duty ends after the trial is done. Forced labor? Yes. Conscription? Yes. Slavery? No. You're equating forcing someone to do something temporarily with forcing them to do something permanently.

It's the difference between demanding you pay me $1 for that chocolate bar of mine you just ate, and demanding you pay me all the money you will ever make for the rest of your life. They're entirely different things, and equating them makes no sense.

Now, if you want to argue that nobody should ever be forced to do something, then I'm afraid you're not going to find much traction there either. You really do need to be forced to pay me that $1 for the chocolate bar of mine you ate. For jury duty specifically, our legal systems depend on being able to find independent people with no stake in the trial in order to properly decide what happens. Flawed? Probably. But for the system to work, the people who live in the system need to be required to serve as a juror occasionally. It's part of the price you pay for the system... think of it as a strangely applied tax.

There are tons of problems with the legal and judicial systems in most of the 1st world countries... but I don't count conscripting jurors for temporary service as one of them.

Re:Fitting (1)

fuckamonkey (1619765) | more than 3 years ago | (#35796830)

jury duty is a duty...it's something you should feel compelled to do without being compelled to do it by outside forces. the benefit is that you are entitled to a trial by jury in the event that you are accused of a crime. this service isn't free. you pay for it by being a juror yourself when called upon. but, alas, i've already failed by responding to a troll.

Re:Fitting (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35798588)

... but, alas, i've already failed by responding to a troll.

In your defense -- and, I guess, by extension, mine -- it was apparently a really good troll. At least if you can measure success from the size of the response tree.

Re:Fitting (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35799572)

the benefit is that you are entitled to a trial by jury in the event that you are accused of a crime

But I don't want a trial by jury of 12 nincompoops who are ignorant of the subject matter and my personal character. This is the result of the compulsory system (and an overabundance of laws), and a complete perversion of the common law tradition of a 'jury by one's peers'.

good on you (1)

Legionfalls (1990058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35736846)

judicial trolling at its best.

Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35736886)

...she just didn't want to be on a murder trial. She may well believe all those things, but from the judge's response it sounds like she probably only said them because she figured nobody would want her on the jury.

Re:Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35757228)

A mob trial, specifically.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35740712)

1) She is clearly not fit to be a juror, thus wasting her time and the courts is not making the Judge look good. Jury Duty is NOT a form of punishment because someone doesn't like something you say.

2) This undermines people faith in the judicial system when they see that a Federal judge effectively keeps someone in a form of custody and prevents them from going to work and living their life "indefinitely" for his own amusement.

3) Since he is not permitted to treat a juror in this way, she has no recourse but to comply because their are no statutes despairing her rights in this situation. If she doesn't comply, the judge can cite her with contempt, despite the fact that the judge has openly stated he has no intention to use her as a juror.

Re:Bullshit (2)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35742274)

I suspect the judge believes that this woman just said ridiculous nonsense in an attempt to get out of Jury duty. The judge, angry that she's trying to subvert the system by lying to get disqualified, is making her sit the whole thing out despite not actually being a juror. In other words, he wants to send the message that you can't get a free pass out of jury duty in his courtroom simply by pretending to have every bias under the sun.

Re:Bullshit (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35851498)

Sending a message or not, this is abuse of power to an extreme degree. There should be limits on judicial powers, undefined servitude is a good start to the limitations.

She's a racist jury member (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35743548)

He's a liberal irony-minded judge. They fight crime!

Re:She's a racist jury member (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35760762)

ha! I look forward to the TV show, and suggest casting Sarah Palin (as herself) and Matt Stone.

Re:She's a racist jury member (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763366)

It's hard to say of course, but it's not difficult to find Asian Americans who're racist like she is. Folks who come from a culture that demands absurd amounts of hard work, tend to get a tad contemptuous towards cultures that do less. Not to mention Asian Americans tend to run a lot of small businesses and the majority of thefts are committed by the African American and Hispanic crowds.

Even her not liking Asians makes some sense. China had a shitty history and even now is looked upon as an unethical country, Japan once brutalized a fair portion of Asia, North Korea is insane, South Korea has a incredibly shitty and corrupt time becoming a world power, etc.

Re:She's a racist jury member (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810922)

[I] suggest casting Sarah Palin (as herself) and Matt Stone.

Palin to both "act" (note the quotation marks!) and script at least her own part.

I don't know who the other one is ... [WIKIS] ... oh, one of the South Park guys. [/self thinks] Nope, I don't get that bit of your sense of humour. Is Stone allegedly some sort of closet Moral Majority retard?

Ach. Life is too short to try to catch up on Slashdot after the holiday.

Judge needs to be reprimanded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35748666)

Just because he did not like or approve of her answers does not give him the right to force his opinion on her by making her come back till she changes her mind. Has free speech been given up just because you don't like what you hear? Now, on top of everything else she will have to suffer the humiliation of being singled out and hounded by the press for these views. This is abuse of power and the judge needs to be reprimanded.

Where I live in Texas... (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35784974)

there's no need to be mean like that.

The juror questionnaire (so the lawyers can figure out who to strike) has a lot of personal questions that are designed to try to be proxies to figure out things like racism/sexism.

So if you really aren't interested in being a juror on a particular trial, you can do worse than to simply list your religion as Branch Davidian [wikipedia.org] .

The trick is (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802622)

to say that you're prejudiced against all races.

Re:The trick is (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814934)

I refuse, for religious reasons, to stand in judgement of any person.

Bonus points if you can cite chapter and verse.

But, it's true: that's what you do "hear and read" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810830)

The media are full of reports of minorities doing this or that. Rarely is a photo of a white person accused of some relatively minor transgression posted.

Her conclusions, derived from media bias, are warranted.... and a good argument for truth in the media.

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