Monday, March 21, 2016

Can you get a fair trial in an identity theft case if one of the jurors is paranoid and thinks you are "al Qaeda" and needs to be in the "jury protection program"?

According to the 11th Circuit, the answer is yes:

The district court did not clearly err in finding that Juror 9 could be fair and impartial. After hearing her answers to its questions, the district court “believe[d] her when she said that she would be fair.” ... Furthermore, the district court took measures to allay Juror 9’s fears by explaining that the case had nothing to do with terrorism and that her life was not in any danger. It reasonably found that this discussion “quelled” her concerns, especially because her concerns did not appear to be that serious to begin with. As soon as the district court started questioning her, Juror 9 confessed that she is “just paranoid.” 
Well, I guess if the juror was just paranoid, then we have nothing to worry about with the verdict of the "Arab, Muslim" defendant charged in a run of the mill identity theft case that had nothing to do with al Qaeda or terrorism.


Anonymous said...

This is from the same court that wants to charge lawyers $100 to hear about the new civil rules.

Not JAFI much longer said...

Seems legit.

Rumpole said...

What's the problem? The standard has always been "fair, impartial, but no problem if scared and paranoid, so long as the court allays their fears a bit in a ten second exchange."


Do they ever say to themselves "would I want this juror on my case? Or my child's case?"
No. That's not the standard of review. Nor, apparently is being able to sleep at night after their decision.

I may be channeling my inner Scalia, but when I read the constitution I don't see "fair, impartial, fearful, paranoid juror."

There's a reason why our profession has a high rate of alcohol abuse.

Anonymous said...

I'll drink to that!

The Notorious RBG said...

Well said, Send it up.


Anonymous said...