We discussed the United States Court of Appeal's decision on the first circuit when the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death due to jury prejudice (as well as the removal of some beliefs). The judgment is a relatively rare case in which a court takes such measures. Defense lawyers, including myself, have long complained that judges play a good game about fair trial, but always seem to find a way. That was my objection to the Stone trial, in which judge Amy Berman Jackson refused to get a new one Grant process for reasons very similar to Tsarnaev's, including alleged bias against predecessors i in both cases. While Tsarnaev only got a new criminal trial, Stone was supposed to get a completely new trial.
With his recent racist remark against a black radio host, Stone continues to struggle to make himself less popular than Tsarnaev. I have been a critic of Stone for a long time, admitting that I am little more than a performance artist and provocateur. However, he still deserves a fair trial and has received none from Judge Jackson.
The similarities between the cases are striking. It was about the bias of juror 1261. This is attorney Tomeka Hart, who served as a foreman on the jury. Hart is a democratic activist and critic of the Trump administration. She was the chief executive officer of Memphis City Schools. Hart has spoken publicly about her views of Trump and his employees. She referred to the president with a hashtag of "klanpresident" and spoke out against "Trump and the white racists of the Supremacists". She wrote about how she and others protested in front of a Trump hotel and shouted: "Shame, shame, shame!" When swear words were projected onto the Trump Hotel, she exclaimed on January 13, 2018: "I have to love it." Convictions of people in the inner circle of the 45s "carefully. She also directly referred to Stone, including a retweeted post from Bakari Sellers in January 2019, and again highlighted racist associations, stating that "Roger Stone is talking about reviewing the use of violence policies". She also described Trump supporters like Stone as racists and Putin friends.
These statements were not communicated to the lawyer or the court despite various issues that should have led to such disclosures. Still, Jackson declined a new trial and mocked the entire Voir Dire trial. It turns out that you have to disclose such prejudices so that you can be excluded from the service. But if you don't, it really doesn't matter.
It was important in Boston.
In the 224-page appeal panel, Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson noted that George A. O & # 39; Toole Jr. rejected, but did not, an application to relocate the Boston trial because of the apparent risk of jury bias considered necessary to protect against such prejudice. The result was jurors who made comments on social media that raised serious questions about their willingness to be impartial.
In a remarkable analogy to the Stone case, this included 22 Twitter posts and retweets by the jury's foreman. One called Mr. Tsarnaev "this piece of garbage", but was never announced when the jury was selected.
She wasn't alone. Another judge went on Twitter on the day of the sentence to say that Mr. Tsarnaev was "scum" and "garbage" and that he belonged to a "dungeon" in which he would be forgotten until his time.
In particular, O'Toole beat a jury who was a defense lawyer because he was "not open to the possibility of the death penalty". O’Toole based this judgment on his "sense of it" from his answers. However, he was unable to adequately investigate such prejudices among other jurors, especially when it comes to social media contributions. The First Circle affirmed that "decisions about the impartiality of potential jurors are made for the judge and not for the potential jurors themselves".
"To repeat what we wrote earlier, the judge qualified jurors who had already formed an opinion that Dzhokhar was guilty – and he did so for the most part – 65 – because she asked if she was in favor of this high-profile topic could decide, "yes" case based on the evidence. The defense warned the judge that simply asking general questions would mistakenly make such potential judges "judges of their own impartiality" – the very mistake the Patriarca case is trying to prevent. However, the judge rejected the defense's argument on the grounds that "(t) to a large extent" jurors must perform this function. However, by failing to identify what the jury believed they already knew, the judge made it too difficult for both himself and the parties to determine both the nature of a flaw (e.g., whether the jury knew that something bad shouldn't be) granted at the trial) and the possible remedies for the blemish. This was a legal error and therefore misuse of powers. "
The problem has never been the standard for fair trial. "(D) The right to a judicial proceeding guarantees the criminally accused fair trial by a group of impartial, indifferent jurors. Failure to provide a defendant with a fair hearing even violates the minimum standards of due process. “Irvin v. Dowd, 366, US 717, 722 (1961). The problem was the willingness of the federal judges to enforce this, especially after lengthy and expensive legal proceedings.
If you read this opinion, it is impossible not to think about the stone judgment. Ultimately, this precedent does not control the DC circuit, but is probably referred to as "convincing authority". In the age of social media, courts need to look for evidence of jury bias. That wasn't done in Tsarnaev and it wasn't done in Stone.
Here is the decision: Tsarnaev Opinion