First a definition. My use of the term "The New All White Jury" denotes a body of people who's own bigotry will not allow the facts that are presented before them to over come the hardened positions that they had on certain subjects prior to setting foot in the jury box.
This pre-"judge-dice" need not be restricted to actual court proceedings. Each day brings an abundance of issues for the "New All White Jury" member to stick his finger in the air, make note of the racial or ideological dynamics of each side in a conflict and then render his judgment accordingly to the trade winds. He is indictable based on the fact that instances in which the "victim" and "assailant" are flipped - his own judgments don't remain consistent. Instead he flows based upon the respective position of "his side".
There is even a Wikipedia entry on "All White Juries" now.
In the article about the recent trial in Detroit the lone juror to hold out on the conviction - and the only Black juror was said to have said:
Jurors said all but one of the 12 was ready to convict Riddle on all or some of the counts, but Angela Woods, the lone black juror, held out -- even accusing others of wanting to "hang the black man."Now I must admit that I was not there for the testimony and thus it is possible that 'juror #12' was right.
The Rev. Horace Sheffield III, a Riddle confidant, said he spoke to several people involved in the case who believe Woods held out because she wanted to take more time to weigh the evidence, not strictly because of race. Woods felt the other jurors would have more carefully examined the evidence if Riddle wasn't black, Sheffield said.
"This juror felt the process was violated and she felt so because the defendant was black. They would have been more apt to weigh the evidence," Sheffield said. "This is just another example of the very perception of justice. People who have been done a great injustice have a little more suspicion of the system than those who don't."
Woods declined to discuss the case or her rationale.
HOWEVER, it is clear that she successfully did one thing: She PUT THE JURY ON TRIAL, charging it with RACISM, stepping away from the question about the facts relevant to the case that was presented to her.
The sad part about it is that it "works every time" with some people.
Fear not there is justice in this world.
The city of Detroit bears the brunt of any non-justice as people show an aversion to hold their elected officials accountable. So frequently some folks focus upon what the "White folks in the suburbs" are scheming to do against Detroit proper that they fail to make note of what those who actually are in the SEATS OF POWER are doing so that "the White folks" don't even need to take the drive into the city limits to undercut the city.
The case had racial overtones from the start. Riddle's lawyers filed a motion seeking a new trial before arguments began, claiming that not enough prospective jurors were black. His attorney John Minonk said only nine of 100 potential jurors were black, while the federal court for the Eastern District of Michigan is nearly 22 percent black. The motion was denied.
Wayne County has struggled with black representation on juries for years. Many Detroit residents still resent the abolition of the Detroit Recorder's Court in 1997 and say its merger with the county circuit court reduced the number of black jurors and made it harder for black defendants to be judged by fellow blacks.
A recent study of the court found that blacks comprise about 27 percent of Wayne County juries but 42 percent of the population.
Remove the word "Detroit" and replace it with "Atlanta", "Philadelphia" or "Baltimore" and the story is still the same: Even in places that have heavy Black populations there is a lack of Black representation on juries.
The popular assumptions is that the Prosecutor seeks to strike Blacks from the jury rolls because they are less inclined to convict and give the death penalty. Notice that this story fails to mention anything about:
- Voter Registration rolls - from which many jurors are gleaned from
- Response Rates to jury summons
- And ACTUAL truths in 'jury nullification' practiced by some Black jurors
It seems to me that those who struggle for JUSTICE should also be pressed to dole out JUSTICE even when the evidence proves damning.