“The People vs. John White at Criminal Court, Riverhead 11/27/07 – 12/22/07”

On my jury site, a juror in the John White trial posts a long and impassioned account of his experience. (John White is a black New Yorker who was recently convicted of shooting a white teenager after the teenager and his friends confronted White outside of his house one night. The trial was long and became a media spectacle and source of much controversy.)

5 thoughts on ““The People vs. John White at Criminal Court, Riverhead 11/27/07 – 12/22/07””

  1. I have always made sure that I would not serve unless I were paid what my time is worth. However,if on a jury where the judge is trying to force a verdict probably the best thing to is to agree-then when the judge asks whether there is a unanamous verdict say that one does not agree. That forces a mistrial. Am I wrong in this?Seems like the only way to make it just.

  2. Remnibi, how would you “make sure” that? In my county we were given checks for days served after the jury delivered decision to the judge, by the court officer. Nobody asked us anything, nobody negotiated. There is one sentence in the juror booklet about court-determined maximum jurors might be paid.

    I can tell you some people on the jury I served would be satisfied if the compensation was the free lunches. The were power-happy enough: to be able to decide somebody’s life for them; what could be more fun.

  3. In 1984 I sat on a panel as an alternate juror, so I didn’t deliberate. It took four weeks to prove what was obvious after a few days. I didn’t mind- it beat sorting mail at PO where I worked.Later while trading my commodity account I saw to it that I wasn’t impaneled.Too much was at stake for me.It’s not difficult.On a civil case say you do not see yourself as Santa Claus. On a criminal case during voir dire “Why is he here if he is not guilty?”
    Thanks for this,Jonathan.Quite clearly the people on this jury are not atypical according to what I have heard from friends.The people who post or comment on this blog are generally reasonable,but my guess is that three fourths of the public have negligable analytical ability, and their character ain’t any better either.They ,in short,are slobs.
    I do remember on one of Giuliani’s white collar Wall Street cases(Jimmy Sherwin),thinking the case was a complete crock from what I read. The defendant didn’t want a jury trial ( I guess he thought a judge would see through it) but the prosecution insisted and got it. Two mistrials and a conviction later the case was thrown out on appeal, as were all of his publicised Wall Street cases.
    To digress,strange though he was,Giuliani was the best Mayor we ever had,because he had the same contempt for the NY Times etc.etc. that Reagan had. He wasn’t interested in the approval of the great and the good-so NYC today is a lot safer than London or Paris.He also kept the budget under control.The point: sometimes you find something where you don’t expect it.

    The US is the only country which has juries try civil cases (except libel cases in the UK). A very bad idea,even if in the constitution for federal courts.For criminal cases knowing that what we have is pretty sorry is at least a beginning.
    Thanks ChicagoBoyz for this forum.

  4. On a criminal case during voir dire “Why is he here if he is not guilty?”

    On a criminal case involving police witnesses I told the judge I have personal reasons to be hostile to NYPD, as they did nothing to find the thieves when my apartment was burglarised. I was selected as a juror out of 30.

  5. white should be free…lucky he didnt shoot all the little punks….everyone knows better than to mess with peoples stuff..

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