Friday, March 25, 2011

Juror Backgrounds

An interesting side note to one of the cases won last week on behalf of officers:
  • The city of Chicago's top attorney came to federal court Thursday to address concerns raised by a judge about a recent criminal background check that the city did on a juror who had already been questioned and seated for a police misconduct trial.

    In the end, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges did not address the court, but U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly told her and other city attorneys that he will allow background checks on jurors in another police misconduct case pending before him only during jury selection, not after.

    The unorthodox criminal check happened last week before another judge in federal court who was presiding over a civil trial in which a South Side family had sued the city and two police officers over an alleged false arrest and physical abuse. It took place on the trial's second day — after the jury had been selected.

    Private attorneys representing the city said they became suspicious about a juror's demeanor and had city investigators run his arrest record. The check revealed that the juror had allegedly concealed an arrest history with Chicago police, and the judge in the trial removed him from the panel. He was one of only two African-American jurors on the panel. The remaining seven jurors ruled in the city's favor and didn't award any money to the family.

The juror concealed an arrest history of not one, not two, but EIGHT different arrests by the Chicago Police Department. And of course, the lawyers are whining that bumping him off the jury makes the verdict somehow illegitimate.

Here's a question - why aren't jurors screened as a matter of course in any trial? Someone willing to lie about their arrest history is someone willing to award ill-gotten gains in some frivolous suit.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is about time that our union join with other police unions nationwide. The police-hating commie lawyers and anti-police media are out of control in this town. For starters we need to rally for tort reform and have friends and family boycott these bastards in the local print and televised media. Fuck them!

3/25/2011 03:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not do a George a blanket screening of all past juries in cases involving the police. Let's see how many other fine, upstanding members of the public have lied about their back grounds.

There would probably not be any recourse if a juror was found that he/she lied about not have a criminal background but at least it could bring to light the problem that police officers are not receiving a fair trial.

If the results show that a good amount of potential jurors have lied, then maybe they would start screening them more thoroughly before they are seated.

3/25/2011 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Video said...

Anonymous said...

It is about time that our union join with other police unions nationwide.

Other police unions are losing their collective bargaining rights because they voted in administrations that have double crossed them. Witness Ohio.

We need to forget about Republican or Democrat and support those who support us. The Republicans lied to the police & fire unions in Ohio and now they are fighting to get back what they won years ago.

I do not think Quinn is any great leader, not at all, but the same thing would very likely be happening here if Brady got in. We'd be scrambling to retain the collective bargaining rights we now have. This is happening across the country.

The enemy is not always police hating lawyers but union hating elected officials everywhere.

3/25/2011 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is about time that our union join with other police unions nationwide.

Our union is nothing but a fraternal organization masquerading as a union.

3/25/2011 07:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they got rap sheets on all Crook County, Chicago jurors there would be few jurors seated.

3/25/2011 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't a juror found lying during selection be charged criminally, along with a mistrial being declared??

3/25/2011 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Corp Counsel should do their fucking job before hand so this doesn't happen again. About three minutes to do.

3/25/2011 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3/25/2011 03:16:00 AM

Im surprised at the lack of comments in this section. THIS is truly an issue. We ENFORCE the laws that our corrupt legislators write, and our corrupt judiciary try in court. And WE THE ENFORCERS are the ones that get thrown under the bus at every opportunity, while the judges and politicians point fingers. Unless there is a change with the way these two branches are fucking up our city,county,state, and country, we should stop worrying about whether or not MSF or TRU is getting disbanded.

3/25/2011 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a part of that trial, you can't cry race seeing one of the coppers was an m/1

3/25/2011 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the judge has just set checks for everyone!!!

3/25/2011 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Te whole ball of wax, it's now ALL corrupt.

3/25/2011 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So he's got an arrest history. What, if anything, was the juror convicted of? If he has nothing but misdemeanors then leave him empaneled. Anything else is inviting trouble. I'm not a lawyer or a cop but really enjoy reading this blog.

3/25/2011 05:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those citizens chosen for jury duty should be told before that if they are picked to sit on a jury they will be name checked, very simple and both sides are protected.

3/25/2011 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Howard Lodding,
I agree with your email about the importance of securing our weapons. However, owning a rifle is not a "privilege" that was somehow granted by Shanks or the Department. It is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

3/25/2011 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was posted on the same day I recieved my jury summons. I have to sign it, but nowhere on that form does it tell me that fudging the answers is punishable by anything other than a fine. OK, bad on the court administration for sloppy execution of their duties and oath. But for Christ's sake, the term voir dire, literally means "Voir dire (English pronunciation: /ˈvwɑr ˈdɪər/) is a phrase in law which comes from the Anglo-Norman language. In origin it refers to an oath to tell the truth (Latin verum dicere), i.e., to say what is true, what is objectively accurate or subjectively honest in content, or both.

The word voir (or voire), in this combination, comes from Old French and derives from Latin verum, "that which is true". It is not related to the modern French word voir, which derives from Latin vidēre ("to see"), though the expression is now often interpreted by false etymology to mean "to see [them] say.""

3/25/2011 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people in this city who scream the loudest get their way. Let's use our voice at the next FOP meeting and start exploring ways to have our voices heard. A good way to start would be to contact an aspiring journalist to do an expose. A good story would point out how the same scummy journalists (Marin, Mills, Goudie and Savini) continually degrade and beat down the police. Their reports always tell the bad guy's story and they never let the truth or facts get in the way of a good story. Scum like the above, contribute to the low moral this department is dealing with.

3/26/2011 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So he's got an arrest history. What, if anything, was the juror convicted of? If he has nothing but misdemeanors then leave him empaneled. Anything else is inviting trouble. I'm not a lawyer or a cop but really enjoy reading this blog.

3/25/2011 05:33:00

You miss the point, he lied under oath saying he had never been arrested by Chicago Police, if he is willing to lie about that then he also is willing to lie about his bias against the police. He should have been charged with perjury and made an example of.

3/27/2011 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one area where the Illinois state court system is actually more advanced than the federal system. In Illinois state courts, judges and the attorneys for both sides are allowed to conduct extensive voir dire of potential jurors, and can inquire into virtually anything in someone's background which may be of relevance to the trial. But in federal court, voir dire is extremely constricted, and handled mainly by the judge.

3/27/2011 08:44:00 PM  

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