Thursday, June 4, 2015

Urkel To Go Free

Most pundits agree that jury selection determines the outcome and the trial itself is "just playing the game." Given that we may as well drop the case, re-instate Burrell Ellis and send Lee May back to the private sector.

This case is a done deal and the AJC report on jury selection makes this clear.

It is impossible to find anyone with the mental capabilities to even find the courthouse let alone sit on a jury who does not have some familiarity with the case so it comes as no surprise that selection looks into "what do you know, when did you know it and what do you think about it?" It is incumbent on the court to find jurors who, in spite of prior knowledge, can assess the case on the facts presented in court and to some degree this is the point of this case's voir dire. But there are disturbing aspects to the variations in "degree."

One prospect reportedly stated "Corruption is endemic in DeKalb County, which I think comes from the top down."

"Thank you for your time. Dismissed."  As expected since this person clearly has made up his mind.

A little less clearly prejudiced is the prospect who said "I find it disturbing and significant that there's a trial against the defendant, so there must be something there in order for that to occur. Something's going on here." This individual did not say "and I think he is guilty" but simply said that we would not be here if there was nothing to be presented to the court. Nor is it clear this individual is incapable of differentiating between what is believed versus what is proven in court. Dismissed nonetheless.

It gets worse.

On prospect said "I heard what was on the news, and looking at the gentleman, he just doesn't look like someone who would be guilty." He just doesn't look guilty. This person is making a pretty clear statement that he comes to this court predisposed to set our Urkel free. So, dismissed for prejudice in favour of the defendant, right? Hell no. Ordered to return for further questioning--still in contention for jury duty. But consider this: suppose instead of saying "just doesn't look" he actually said "looks." That juror would have been back at home in less than an hour--thank you for your service.

Whether this is right or wrong, just or unjust, Burrell Ellis is going to get another jury pre-disposed to  acquittal and that is exactly what will happen. Let's just cut to the chase, drop the case and quit paying for two CEO's when we'll never get even one that is worth having.