Judge Denies Motion to Pick New Jury in Ferguson Trial to Balance Race
The issue of race in a Detroit courtroom can surface at anytime.
Last week, it surfaced on multiple fronts during the jury selection for Bobby Ferguson, a pal of ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who faces corruption charges in U.S. District Court in downtown Detroit in a bid-rigging case.
On one front, Detroiter Sherry Willis, a prospective African-American juror with tattoos, told the Detroit News that she was dismissed from the panel because of her appearance and race.
On another front, defense attorneys -- there are two other co-defendants -- asked the judge to scrap the jury and start the process over again because there's not enough African-Americans on the panel. It seemed like a long shot. And apparently it was.
U.S. District Judge David Lawson denied the motion Monday and jury selection continued, according to a court spokesman. The court still needed four alternates for the jury.
The News reported that the current jury panel includes one black female and a man whose race is unknown, but lawyers believe is black. - A.L.