Thursday, April 7, 2011

Judge Sentences Racist Juror to Indefinite Jury Duty

Over the past few days, there are plenty of stories about liberal failures (Madonna’s tax discrepancies, New York City shutting down 20 fire departments due to financial woes) and arrogance (Obama’s take on oil prices, Alec Baldwin being… well, Alec Baldwin).

But I’d like to focus instead on an instance of liberal abuse, namely the case of the “racist juror,” as she is now being called.

I’m not disputing that the Brooklyn woman is racist. After all, she did answer “African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians” when asked to name three people she least admired. And I’m certainly not condoning her attitude or pretending to understand it.

But just because she has unorthodox or even hurtful opinions does not give anybody the right to sentence her to indefinite jury duty, as Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis did on Tuesday.

Claiming that she was “an outrage,” the judge ordered her to come back on Wednesday, “Thursday and Friday, and until the future when I am ready to dismiss her.”

That declaration is frightening, to say the least, and not just because Garaufis is displaying the mindset and actions of an ego-tripping dictator.

Juror 799 was asked a question and responded honestly. She did not make any outbursts or interrupt deliberations or commit any crime on the city, state or federal law books to my knowledge. And therefore, as a legal resident in the United States, she has the right to her opinion, no matter how offensive.

At the risk of sounding like the ACLU, if people in positions of authority like Garaufis’ think they have the right to dictate people’s thoughts and speech in this manner, where does it stop?

I’m afraid that none of us will like the answer.

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