Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury . . .

. . . like a Federal judge scorned. From the Detroit News comes this story about a citizen summoned for grand jury duty. He didn't want to serve and wrote a letter to the judge asking to be excused. The judge didn't take kindly to the request, so the man is now sitting on a bench in the Federal courthouse every day the grand jury is in session - Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday every other week from 9am to 4pm. He can't read, work on a project, or do anything else constructive. He just sits and stares at the wall.

Apparently, the guy tried to get out of jury duty using the Homer Simpson Strategy: "tell them you're prejudiced against all races and all religions." Thus, the guy wrote in his letter that "he did not respect law enforcement or believe in the court system." The Judge "summoned him to a meeting about two weeks later and said 'your letter is all bs -- I don't believe it.'" Legal experts in the article seem to uniformly agree that the judge is abusing his authority. Why hasn't the guy challenged the order? His "lawyer friends" thought the judge has the authority to order the unusual sanction without a formal contempt proceeding. Sounds like he either needs new friends or new attorneys.

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