More Juror Furor

In a Prince William County courtroom Friday, Heaster, 58, a retired government secretary, was found in contempt of court for lying to a judge about buying two newspapers on a day she sat as a juror deliberating the fate of Gerardo N. Lara Sr.(more here)

the woman who donated a kidney to her daughter, counseled grieving friends, gave time to local charities and by all accounts never once ran afoul of the law, lied because she panicked.

Bad? Yes, but how bad?

She was ordered to pay $21,290 in restitution -- from $260 for audiovisual equipment to $3,000 in airfare for the victim's family and $7,000 for the cost of defense attorneys.

Heaster, whose pension is about $32,000 a year, was ordered to write letters of apology to each juror in the five-day trial and to perform 250 hours of community service within a year. Alston also gave Heaster a six-month jail sentence, which he suspended.

What are these judges thinking?

We rely on jurors and should have some sense even when they screw up.

Much, more on this soon.


Anonymous said...

was there a mistrial as a result of this? did the judge know the facts about the juror that you set forth?

Indefensible said...

There was a mistrial. And, of course, I have no idea what the judge knew when he imposed sentence, though I've got to think he knew everything I included in the post as the juror was represented by counsel.