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Thread: Accused cop-killer seeks jury of his peers - 'convicted felons'

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    Accused cop-killer seeks jury of his peers - 'convicted felons'

    When McAwful, by the stroke of his pen, restored the rights of all ex-felons, there would be consequences. But this?

    Who knew?

    Attorneys for man accused of killing state trooper seek eligibility of convicted felons to serve on jury
    The defense team for the man accused of killing Virginia State Police trooper Junius A. Walker in Dinwiddie County three years ago wants felons whose rights were recently restored by the governor to be considered as eligible candidates for jury duty when Russell E. Brown III stands trial in July.

    In what may be the first case of its kind in Virginia since Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued a blanket order restoring the rights of 206,000 felons to vote and sit on juries, Brown’s capital murder attorneys have filed a motion in Dinwiddie Circuit Court seeking to unseal juror questionnaires sent last fall to a list of potential Dinwiddie jury candidates provided by the Virginia Supreme Court.

    “Mr. Brown is entitled to this juror information in light of the recent order by Gov. Terence R. McAuliffe restoring certain civil rights to felons and in order to prepare any Sixth Amendment fair cross-section constitutional challenge to the Dinwiddie County juror selection process,” the May 6 motion says.

    ...

    McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said Virginia’s jury selection process remains unchanged and felons whose rights were restored who could end up in a jury pool won’t affect that.

    “Virginia has a jury selection process for a reason, and that is to screen potential jurors for any biases or conflicts of interests that might imperil the impartiality of a case,” Coy said.

    “That process is unchanged and that serves Virginia well. And the governor’s confident that judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys would continue to leverage that process just as they always have, to make sure the juries they’re selecting are impartial. None of that has changed.”

    “There are extra hurdles to clear before an individual would end up actually being in a position that these folks are concerned about,” Coy added.

    “And that is, they would have to pass several steps in addition to simply being selected (for inclusion into a jury pool). They would have to get through a defense attorney, or the prosecutor and a judge. So I think that is a usual safeguard not only in this case but in every case.”

    But Del. Jackson H. Miller, R-Manassas, sees the Dinwiddie development as the start of things to come.

    “It just goes to show that we have a governor that bases decisions solely for partisan political purposes and not what’s right or what consequences could happen to Virginia,” said Miller, who formerly served as a police officer in Arlington and Prince William counties.

    “We’re starting to see things like this, (and) now we can only pray the common sense of the court system prevails, and tosses this request right out,” Miller added.

    “But after what the governor did, maybe they won’t be able to. This is obviously a slap in the face to law enforcement all the way across the commonwealth.”

    ...

    Brown, 31, is charged with six felony counts, including capital murder of a police officer, in the March 7, 2013, slaying of Walker, 63. The trooper was shot in his police cruiser on Interstate 85. Walker had rolled up to Brown’s vehicle, which was stopped on the shoulder, to see if Brown needed any help.

    Police said that after shooting Walker with a Russian-made .308-caliber semiautomatic rifle and exchanging fire with another trooper, Brown dropped his weapon and fled, disrobing as he ran. He was found hiding naked in the back of a car at a nearby towing company.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    When McAwful, by the stroke of his pen, restored the rights of all ex-felons, there would be consequences. But this?

    Who knew?

    Attorneys for man accused of killing state trooper seek eligibility of convicted felons to serve on jury
    Unless he had a prior felony conviction, convicted felons would not be his peers IMO.

    "a person of the same legal status: a jury of one's peers."
    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/peer
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    How many gun-owing jury members do self-defense shooting cases get?
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Interestingly, nowhere in the federal constitution is a man entitled to a "jury of his peers". The 6th amendment guarantees an "impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law".

    Sadly, today such districts tend to be far too large and diverse in my opinion and we see rural residents almost always prosecuted for federal crimes in urban areas with juries made up almost entirely of urban residents. (The federal district in Utah is the entire State with the federal courthouse in SLC. We have areas of our State that require 6 hours of driving, largely on undivided two-lane roads to reach SLC.)

    I found that the Virginia State Constitution guarantees the accused a speedy, public trial "by an impartial jury of his vicinage..."

    I had to look up "vicinage" and found it means simply, "geographic vicinity" or neighborhood. So no guarantee of "peers" there either.

    And really, do we want crooked politicians to be judged only by other politicians when finally caught? Should the habitual drunk driver get a jury full of other lushes? Can accused rapists only be judged by those who have, themselves, been accused (or even convicted) of rape?

    Of course, voir dire now goes much too far the other way and will routinely exclude from a jury anyone who has been accused of a crime. Heaven forbid a prosecutor have to deal with someone on the jury who was, himself, falsely accused.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
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    Interestingly, nowhere in the federal constitution is a man entitled to a "jury of his peers". The 6th amendment guarantees an "impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law".

    Sadly, today such districts tend to be far too large and diverse in my opinion and we see rural residents almost always prosecuted for federal crimes in urban areas with juries made up almost entirely of urban residents. (The federal district in Utah is the entire State with the federal courthouse in SLC. We have areas of our State that require 6 hours of driving, largely on undivided two-lane roads to reach SLC.)

    I found that the Virginia State Constitution guarantees the accused a speedy, public trial "by an impartial jury of his vicinage..."

    I had to look up "vicinage" and found it means simply, "geographic vicinity" or neighborhood. So no guarantee of "peers" there either.

    And really, do we want crooked politicians to be judged only by other politicians when finally caught? Should the habitual drunk driver get a jury full of other lushes? Can accused rapists only be judged by those who have, themselves, been accused (or even convicted) of rape? Should cops accused of excessive force or other crimes get a jury comprising only fellow police officers?

    Of course, voir dire now goes much too far the other way and will routinely exclude from a jury anyone who has been accused of a crime. Heaven forbid a prosecutor have to deal with someone on the jury who was, himself, falsely accused.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Police said that after shooting Walker with a Russian-made .308-caliber semiautomatic rifle and exchanging fire with another trooper, Brown dropped his weapon and fled, disrobing as he ran. He was found hiding naked in the back of a car at a nearby towing company.




    Well, at least get people on the jury who have done the same thing, right? Shooting someone, running away, and disrobing during the fleeing process. Gotta be plenty of folks like that. We know where to look....

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    Side note: extreme delay in sentencing is now A-OK !


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    Peer has been stretched like a soprano swinette.

    SCOTUS has made the requirement "a jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community." See Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. at 419 U. S. 526-531, 419 U. S. 538; Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145 (1968).
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    Regular Member snatale42's Avatar
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    All of this nonsense about the prior felons voting is ridiculous. First he didn't restore the rights of ALL felons and with VA having a very low felony threshold to begin with a huge chunk of them wouldn't be felons in any other state. If they're non violent, non sex related WHO CARES! You do a crime, get punished then go back to your life, there's no reason that most of them shouldn't be able to vote anymore. I can't stand the gov for all the same reasons most of us can't, but c'mon.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snatale42 View Post
    All of this nonsense about the prior felons voting is ridiculous. First he didn't restore the rights of ALL felons and with VA having a very low felony threshold to begin with a huge chunk of them wouldn't be felons in any other state. If they're non violent, non sex related WHO CARES! You do a crime, get punished then go back to your life, there's no reason that most of them shouldn't be able to vote anymore. I can't stand the gov for all the same reasons most of us can't, but c'mon.

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    excellent points, kudos!!

    ipse
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    Regular Member wrearick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snatale42 View Post
    All of this nonsense about the prior felons voting is ridiculous. First he didn't restore the rights of ALL felons and with VA having a very low felony threshold to begin with a huge chunk of them wouldn't be felons in any other state. If they're non violent, non sex related WHO CARES! You do a crime, get punished then go back to your life, there's no reason that most of them shouldn't be able to vote anymore. I can't stand the gov for all the same reasons most of us can't, but c'mon.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    And I would have no problem with those who were non violent, non sex related having their rights restored. There is a process for that and it requires a case by case review of the individual's situation. What our governor did was give blanket pardon to all, murderers, sex offenders included in an effort to increase the voting pool for the upcoming election. The belief is that most of those folks will vote democrat.

    This had nothing to do with an individual, his/her crime, and how they behaved since the incident that occurred to get them convicted.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snatale42 View Post
    All of this nonsense about the prior felons voting is ridiculous. First he didn't restore the rights of ALL felons and with VA having a very low felony threshold to begin with a huge chunk of them wouldn't be felons in any other state. If they're non violent, non sex related WHO CARES! You do a crime, get punished then go back to your life, there's no reason that most of them shouldn't be able to vote anymore. I can't stand the gov for all the same reasons most of us can't, but c'mon.

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    I am of the belief that citizens should not lose rights due to conviction. There are obvious limits. Those in prison should not be given firearms or machettees. People should be allowed to vote even if they are in prison for a felony conviction. McAwful does not have the authority to grant general rights restorations, only specific restorations for specific people. This will be bad for our jury system and for the integrity of our notary system when McAwful's blanket restoration is overturned.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    Quote Originally Posted by snatale42 View Post
    ... there's no reason that most of them shouldn't be able to vote anymore. ...
    Then no reason that most of them shouldn't be able to own and carry guns as well.

    I've repeatedly written here and elsewhere that I believe any man allowed to walk the streets unsupervised must have his rights respected, ALL of his rights including RKBA, rights to association, to vote, etc, etc, etc.

    If a governor were to act within his lawful power to restore all rights to those who have served their time and been released, I'd applaud him. That isn't what seems to be happening here.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    SCOTUS has made the requirement "a jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community." See Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. at 419 U. S. 526-531, 419 U. S. 538; Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145 (1968).
    Sadly, "drawn from" doesn't require that the seated jury actually reflect a "fair cross section" of the community. Indeed, with current voir dire practices, what we really get is both sides doing their level best to seat a jury biased in their favor. They just have to keep their efforts to bias within some ill-defined broad limits. Recently those limits were contracted when the SCOTUS ruled that a black man was entitled to a new trial because of evidence the prosecutor had deliberately removed black members of the jury pool with preemptory challenges resulting in an all-white jury.

    Don't we all joke about juries being "made up of people too stupid to get out of jury duty"?

    And as I noted above, the whole concept of "community" has been stretched way too far. A guy is accused of a crime in a rural area and gets tried in court almost 400 miles away by a jury comprising almost entirely urbanites.

    Between federal and State courts, I've been called for jury duty 4 times in the last decade and a half. I've about come to the conclusion that my presence in the jury pool is for the sole purpose of giving the appearance of a "jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community." But that the real intent is for prosecutors and defense attorneys alike to actually seat as biased (or at least uninformed, gullible, pliable, easy to manipulate) a jury as possible.

    Consider some of the subtle biases in seating a jury. Government entities are almost universally required to give paid time off for jury duty. So government employees--including school teachers, local bureaucrats, fire fighters, etc--are much more likely not to have a work excuse than are those employed in the private sector. At certain times of the year, for example, it might be an extreme hardship for a cattle rancher, family farmer, or owner of a small lumber company to spend a week away from work on a jury. Owners of small businesses might have similar seasonal challenges, or might simply be unable to take a week away from work period. Look at who has just been excluded from jury duty. Meanwhile, those who don't work have plenty of free time to serve.

    Voir dire should be reduced to a few very basic questions to exclude those who are potential witnesses, those who have a personal stake in the outcome, those who have personal relationships with anyone involved in the trial, and those with obvious and overt biases they are unable or unwilling to set aside. No more asking 100 questions. No more asking a dozen questions about marital status, education level, or even profession, as a routine matter. Three or four questions, exclude the rare potential juror who has some over bias, and then randomly select from whomever is left. There is the jury. If a prosecutor can't convince 8 to 12 such persons that a crime has been committed, so be it. If he can, despite the best efforts of the defense attorney, too bad for the defendant.

    EDIT to add:

    Apparently the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said that so long as peremptory challenges were allowed, racial bias would persist in jury selection. I have to agree with him in this case and go one further: So long as peremptory challenges are allowed, all kinds of bias will exist in jury selection.
    Charles
    Last edited by utbagpiper; 06-07-2016 at 08:10 PM.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    Then no reason that most of them shouldn't be able to own and carry guns as well.

    I've repeatedly written here and elsewhere that I believe any man allowed to walk the streets unsupervised must have his rights respected, ALL of his rights including RKBA, rights to association, to vote, etc, etc, etc.

    If a governor were to act within his lawful power to restore all rights to those who have served their time and been released, I'd applaud him. That isn't what seems to be happening here.

    Charles
    +1

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    It's been quite some time since I've posted on anything other than the breakfast or dinner threads but im intrigued. One of the bigger issues I have with the state of things here at home, the land of the free, is that we have more incarcerated citizens than any other country. I'm about 99% sure this fits the Websters definition of "contradiction".

    Now call me crazy, but aren't prisons, aka "correction facilities" supposed to be a part of the rehabilitation process? I believe that our rights do not go away, even after a conviction. Even in the custody of such a system a person has a right to freedom. If thats not true why are we calling it a right? But that goes with anything, even firearms. Does a person in jail not have the right to self defense?

    I could be way off base, but being arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced is simply a process "we the people" all agreed that this or that is an acceptable punishment where denying someone their rights (that they will always have) is (and I hate saying it like this) justified.

    So if you have agreed with me so far my question is this; why after someone is released from these punishments do we still feel it is right (as a country) to restrict anyones RIGHTS? I don't know the exact statistic but the majority of people end up being repeat offenders. A big part of the reason is these people were one, probably not in the greatest position to begin with and two, after a felony conviction have even fewer options.

    These exasperate the issues that lead to people committing crime in the first place. Even someone who truly understands what it means to be denied their most basic rights and wants to make a better life, but most places won't hire convicted felons. I just don't get it. Give a person a real chance at making a change, repeat offenses should be dealt with considerably harsher.

    In the interest of keeping this as short as possible there are some thing I haven't touched on. Some offenses should be taken more seriously than they currently are, such as sex crimes and such, but feel free to read in between the lines on.... well alot. Interested to hear what yall think.

    Basically what I am getting at is felonies have no real benifits to society.
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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanner View Post
    It's been quite some time since I've posted on anything other than the breakfast or dinner threads but im intrigued. One of the bigger issues I have with the state of things here at home, the land of the free, is that we have more incarcerated citizens than any other country. I'm about 99% sure this fits the Websters definition of "contradiction".
    Now call me crazy, but aren't prisons, aka "correction facilities" supposed to be a part of the rehabilitation process? I believe that our rights do not go away, even after a conviction. Even in the custody of such a system a person has a right to freedom. If thats not true why are we calling it a right? But that goes with anything, even firearms. Does a person in jail not have the right to self defense?
    I could be way off base, but being arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced is simply a process "we the people" all agreed that this or that is an acceptable punishment where denying someone their rights (that they will always have) is (and I hate saying it like this) justified.
    So if you have agreed with me so far my question is this; why after someone is released from these punishments do we still feel it is right (as a country) to restrict anyones RIGHTS? I don't know the exact statistic but the majority of people end up being repeat offenders. A big part of the reason is these people were one, probably not in the greatest position to begin with and two, after a felony conviction have even fewer options.
    These exasperate the issues that lead to people committing crime in the first place. Even someone who truly understands what it means to be denied their most basic rights and wants to make a better life, but most places won't hire convicted felons. I just don't get it. Give a person a real chance at making a change, repeat offenses should be dealt with considerably harsher.
    In the interest of keeping this as short as possible there are some thing I haven't touched on. Some offenses should be taken more seriously than they currently are, such as sex crimes and such, but feel free to read in between the lines on.... well alot. Interested to hear what yall think.
    Basically what I am getting at is felonies have no real benifits to society.
    Tanner, before anybody starts a dialogue about the incarcerated and released inmate's rights can we put this into perspective of why this country's society has the largest incarcerated population in the world...$74B is made annually with two publicly traded companies making $2.5+B in 2012. the rational behind why this has become big business in the U.S. goes back to the 70, and President Nixon's institution of the 'war on drugs' and currently our prisons house 2.2M individuals put there from drug charges, real or perceived, and the overall prison population has risen 408% since 1978!!




    now instead of multiple quotes, spewing out extraneous data out here is some background material.

    1. https://smartasset.com/insights/the-...-prison-system
    2. https://www.aclu.org/prison-crisis
    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarc..._United_States

    for the record, i believe 1) the government's war on drugs should cease immediately, 2) individual(s) incarcerated due to non-violent drug offenses should be released & returned to society following the German prison model, 3) provided the rehab is complete ~ limited rights immediately restored, with full rights within say 3 years from release.

    a side note, if an inmate violated prison rules and sentenced to more time, etc., it is discounted as their constitutional rights were violated while in prison w/o jury of peers.

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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