Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

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Thread: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

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    Creative Co-Author AlexK2013's Avatar
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    Default Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    A British man who said his "extreme homophobic and racist views" should make him ineligible for jury duty now faces prosecution over the claim.

    The Daily Echo reports that the man's identity is being kept anonymous for now but that Judge Gary Burrell QC read the leader in open court. In the letter, the man writes:

    "I strongly believe that it would be a serious injustice to the legal system to select me for jury service.

    "I hold extreme prejudices against homosexuals and black/foreign people and couldn't possibly be impartial if either appeared in court. Therefore it would not be in the court's interest to have me a juror."

    In addition, the man said that if he were selected, he also would not pay attention to the case and would simply vote with the majority.

    The man had been selected to serve on a jury in the case of a man on trial for assault and reckless driving. And while Burrell questioned the authenticity of the man's claim, he nonetheless dismissed him from jury duty.

    Though he escaped jury duty, the man could soon find himself on trial. The prosecutor and defense attorneys in the case, barristers Rebecca Austin and Robert Bryan, stepped outside their traditional role of legal combatants to lodge a joint complaint against the man.


    Under Britain's Contempt of Courts Act, he could face prison time or a fine for failing to serve on jury duty.

    "The Attorney General's Office is aware of this case, and we await more information from Judge Burrell," said a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.
    It's from Yahoo! News, if you want to know where I got this. Least he's honest about being homophobic and racist.

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    Hipsteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer Phoenicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution | The Sideshow - Yahoo! News

    Under Britain's Contempt of Courts Act, he could face prison time or a fine for failing to serve on jury duty.
    It's believable that this man could be prosecuted for only having homophobic and racist opinions. It's possible that he is being prosecuted for attempting to dodge the system. The Daily Echo, which is the source for the Yahoo News article, elaborates:

    'Too homophobic and racist to be a juror' (From Daily Echo)

    Judge Burrell concluded it was difficult to know for sure whether those were the man’s beliefs or if he was simply trying to manipulate the system. Either way, he said, the opinions were not those held by the vast majority of the population and dismissed him from the jury and from the court building.

    Judge Burrell said: “If you do genuinely hold these views then you are someone who should not be on the jury and I question whether you should be doing anything responsible in society at all.

    The man, who was escorted from the court, was warned he now faced prosecution under the Contempt of Court act for failing to serve on a jury as Judge Burrell would be writing to the Attorney General about the case.
    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    Ok, he dodges the system, that's pretty bad. However... The judge willingly dismissed this man, absolving him of his responsibility of service, and now they're suing him for failing to do something he's not obligated to do?

    Am I being stupid here, or is that all this amounts to?
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    Registered User fallen88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    Well what if the suspect is black and gay?

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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    He's prolly just trying to escape jury duty. If he isn't trolling, however ... points for being honest about it, I guess? :s At any rate, I don't think he should be prosecuted for it, considering that the judge excused him.



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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    That way he said it, he sounded like he was straightforward and frank that he's prejudiced and it would prevent him from being impartial in deciding a criminal case.

    The one time I had jury duty, I was dismissed because I said I would probably hold law enforcement testimony with more weight than testimony from an ordinary citizen. Obviously, heavily regarding a cop on the witness stand and being racist are light years apart, but I was dismissed and never got busted because I acted legally. While racism is very unsavory, is it illegal in Britain to ask for exemption because of personal beliefs that could sway decision-making?

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    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    Firstly I would imagine he was just lying because he didn't want to do it.

    Secondly I would imagine the focus of the charges being brought against him are not for the claims of homophobia/racism so much as they are for him saying that if he were selected that he would not pay attention to the case and would just vote for the majority. Essentially, that is just him refusing to cooperate. I don't see what the judge can do but take him off the bench because it would be irresponsible to keep him on there. He has basically just refused to do jury duty. The only difference between him actually doing the jury duty is that he has agreed to sit in the room because he thinks that will mean he can get away with not doing it.

    I believe he should face charges equal to what you get when you refuse/fail to attend jury duty because that is what he has done.

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    Skodwarde's Slave zakisrage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    I'm not trying to be homophobic or anything, but why does every thread on the real world section have to be about homosexuality? Isn't there other real-world stuff that we can talk about.
    Phoenicks likes this.

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    There are plenty of other topics that aren't about homosexuality issues, in fact a majority on the front page aren't. If you disagree, there's not much stopping you from creating a new thread to discuss other news happening in the world, is there?

    Edit: Before I forget, let's not get vastly off topic. I expect the next post and the following posts to be about this thread rather than a response to either me or zakisrage.

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    LVL 7 Master Mew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    Quote Originally Posted by fallen88 View Post
    Well what if the suspect is black and gay?
    Cancels out.

    It should be noted that, despite the thread title's implication (which is, I believe, unintentionally misleading), the man faces prosecution strictly for dodging jury duty - not for his views, which the judge pretty plainly suspected he was lying about anyway.

    I have scant knowledge of the British legal system, but I have a hard time understanding how he can be prosecuted for failing to serve jury duty when he actually did show up in court and was legitimately dismissed by the judge.

    He was "escorted out," what was he supposed to do? Forcibly stay in the court room and serve? I predict this suit will be thrown out.

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    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Mew View Post
    I have scant knowledge of the British legal system, but I have a hard time understanding how he can be prosecuted for failing to serve jury duty when he actually did show up in court and was legitimately dismissed by the judge.

    He was "escorted out," what was he supposed to do? Forcibly stay in the court room and serve? I predict this suit will be thrown out.
    He essentially refused to serve. Look past his claims of homophobia and racism and recognise that he said he wouldn't pay attention and that he would just vote with the majority. He was not willing to serve jury duty. He was willing to sit in the room with the jury. That's not the same as serving jury duty. He ought to be prosecuted for failing to serve jury duty.

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    Default Re: Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

    Well, prejudices like that are potentially harmful to the fairness of the legal system. If he’s willing to admit his own flaws and claim to be unsuitable for jury duty, fine. It’s safer to let him go in case he’s telling the truth than to force him to serve in case he’s lying.

    If he is telling the truth:
    Not making him serve- Great. The integrety of the justice system has been maintained.
    Making him serve- That would be a waste, he would just go with the majority anyways.

    If he is lying:
    Not making him serve- No big deal. They can find someone else.
    Making him serve- Again, still wasted.

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