Monday, September 22, 2003

Free the Alameda Twelve! [or Six, as the Case May Be]

Do you suppose the Alameda County jurors (see first post for 9/21/2003) -- ah yes, I see: there are 12 of them --, do you suppose those jurors have an action for false imprisonment? For intentional infliction of emotional distress? Could they bring a habeas corpus action? In an appropriate case, an action to recover damages for loss of employment? An action for the alienation of the affections of their spouses (if any), children (if any), and friends (if any)? Would they have a good defense -- necessity, for example -- if they simply failed to appear for their next tour of duty? Would a joint juror decision not to appear for further jury duty -- the word "duty" takes on new meaning here -- amount to a conspiracy to obstruct justice?

The situation is rife with possibilities (and immunities and privileges, I suppose)!

  • In the old days trial judges would achieve a judicially-desired mistrial by ordering the "withdrawal of a juror." I don't know when this quaint and thoroughly non-transparent language disappeared from U.S. courtrooms.
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