Man claims to be too ‘prejudiced against homosexuals’ to serve on a juryTop Highlights, Around the World Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
SOUTHAMPTON, England – A man selected for jury duty faces prosecution after he claimed he was unable to serve as a juror due to his “… extreme prejudices against homosexuals and black/foreign people.”
The Southern Daily Echo reported that the man wrote to the court after he was selected to serve on the jury in a trial of a man accused of assault and dangerous driving.
The judge in the trial, Judge Gary Burrell QC, read the letter out in open court. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons wrote, “I strongly believe that it would be a serious injustice to the legal system to select me for jury service.
“I hold extreme prejudices against homosexuals and black/foreign people and couldn’t possibly be impartial if either appeared in court. Therefore it would not be in the court’s interest to have me as a juror.”
He also admitted that he would simply vote with the majority and not give his true opinion in order to bring any case to a swift conclusion.
He finished his letter by writing, “I would be more than happy to speak to a judge regarding my personal views regarding the legal system which I do not hold in high regard.”
Judge Burrell subsequently questioned the man asking him if these were his true beliefs. The man confirmed they were and also said that he did not feel he had the right to judge anyone.
The judge later dismissed him as a juror and from the court saying, “If you do genuinely hold these views then you are someone who should not be on the jury and I question whether you should be doing anything responsible in society at all.”
The man was then escorted from the court and was warned that he could face prosecution under the Contempt of Court Act. The Attorney General will decide further action following review of information from Judge Burrell.
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