EDNY Judge Gives Juror Indefinite Jury Duty for Racism Remarks on Questionnaire

April 6th, 2011

An Eastern District of New York Judge disliked racist remarks a juror made in her questionnaire, and ordered her to return to jury duty indefinitely.

Is this even constitutional? Punishing a person (and no doubt the Judge viewed this as a punishment) for speech by conscripting her to indefinite jury duty? A Judge could hold someone in contempt of court for being disrespectful, but forcing someone to work (jury duty is a job, you get paid) against their will for comments made in a questionnaire that may or may not even have been true (perhaps she was trying to get out of jury duty and wrote outlandish comments intentionally) seems a bit much.

From the NY Daily News:

An incensed federal judge sentenced a racist Brooklyn woman to indefinite jury duty on Tuesday after she trashed the NYPD and minorities. … Asked to name three people she least admired, she wrote on her questionnaire: “African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians.” . . .When the judge asked why she answered the question that way, she replied, “You always hear about them in the news doing something.” . .  .She also declared that cops are all lazy, claiming that they sound their sirens to bypass traffic jams.

What did the Judge do?

Indeed, the woman was going to be seeing a lot of Brooklyn Federal Court.
“She’s coming back [today], Thursday and Friday – and until the future, when I am ready to dismiss her,” Garaufis said.

H/T Mili