Tuesday, April 13, 2010
PEREZ TRIAL: STATE MOVES TO REMOVE JUROR #2, THE BONDSMAN
In a motion filed today in court with Judge Dewey, Assistant States Attorney Chris Alexy has asked her to reconsider her acceptance of juror # 2, the bondsman.
During yesterdays jury selection, a Hispanic male was interviewed by both sides and answered numerous questions. Among those questions regarding his occupation, he replied that one of his jobs was working as a bondsman in the Hartford and New Britain courts.
In order for a juror to be selected, both sides need to agree. They do have a limited number of challenges and can ask for a juror to be "excused".
In yesterdays selection, the state asked for the "bondsman" juror to be excused. Perez, through his attorney, Hubert Santos, objected. Santos used a "Batson" challenge to question the State's vote to excuse the juror.
A Batson challenge is the result of a court case that eventually was decided by the US Supreme Court. In Batson v Kentucky, the case essentially was the result of a claim of purposeful discrimination on the part of the prosecutors in a case to exclude potential jurors based on race.
As I sat in the courtroom yesterday, I thought that the bail bond issue would be a deal breaker for the defense. Furthermore, he stated that his father and uncle were retired police officers. I was surprised when they "accepted" him.
When the state voted to "excuse" him I was also surprised, but their arguments about the bondsman issue seemed valid, and I never heard them mention race. The State's challenge, as noted in their motion, appeared to be race neutral.
On the other hand, Santos's questions to two white females this afternoon seemed much different than questions he was asking to other potential jurors. It is very interesting to watch the so called "justice system" grinding along. Boring, but interesting.
The entire motion is below for your reading pleasure.
Perez Batson Challenge