As some may recall, Judge Glass who is handling the OJ trial has refused to release the completed juror questionnaires to the public. However, she has released a copy of the questionnaire itself. Not surprisingly, her ruling has bothered several media outlets who are in the process of challenging the ruling in the Nevada court system (previously discussed here). The article below, which is written by one of the plaintiffs and includes a few of the sample juror questions, criticizes the judge for her failure to release the completed questionnaires.
What's Next? Hooded Jurors?
At the rate we are going, our American juries are going to look like South American drug trials, the jury box packed with a dozen black-hooded jurors to conceal their identity and prevent retaliation.
What retaliation might be anticipated in the robbery and kidnapping trial of O.J. Simpson is speculation best left the knife-sharp wits of the late-night television talk show hosts.
Nonetheless, Judge Jackie Glass has virtually shrouded the jurors in the case. In her Decorum Order, she dictated, "No party, counsel, representative of the media, or member of the public shall publish in any way the name or address of any juror or prospective juror, nor a likeness of any juror or prospective juror, in a manner that discloses or may disclose the identity of that person."
The rationale we are given is that in such a high-profile case someone might use juror identification to attempt to taint the jury in some vague, unspecified way. That, of course, is against the law and can result in serious jail time....
Among the questions asked of potential jurors:
-- 24. What civic, social, religious, charitable, volunteer, professional or business organizations do you belong to?
-- 26. Who is your favorite public person?
-- 30. Which newspapers and magazines, if any, do you subscribe to and/or read on a regular basis?
-- 54. What is your opinion of criminal defense attorneys?
-- 55. What is your opinion of prosecuting attorneys?
-- 88. Have you, your spouse or domestic partner, or any family members, friends or co-workers ever had your picture taken with O.J. Simpson?
-- 91. Were you a fan of the Buffalo Bills football team in the years when O.J. Simpson played for them?
-- 106. Will you follow the law, as given to you by the court, even though it may differ from your concept of what the law should be? (Jury nullification is a topic for another day.)
-- 107. Do you think the news media always report the truth? (I object!)...