Jury Rigging Laid Bare

Jury Rigging Laid Bare

Case  law says the object of jury selection is to get a competent, fair,  and impartial jury. Well, that’s ridiculous.  You’re there to win. The only way you’re going to do your best is to get jurors who are unfair and more likely to convict than anybody else in thecourtroom. If you go  in there,  and one of you, and think you are going to be some noble civil libertarian, you’ll lose. You’ll be out of office.

In my experience, you look at how people are dressed. If you take middle-class people who are well-dressed, you’re going to do well. Another thing I’ve learned: most people bring a book to court. Look at this book. If a juror is reading Karl Marx, you don’t want that person. You don’t want smart people, because smart people will analyze the hell out of your case. They hold you and the courts to higher standards. They take those words “reasonable doubt” and they actually try to think about them. You don’t want these people. You don’t want people who are going to think it out.

Let’s face it, the blacks from low-income areas are less likely to convict. There’s a resentment toward law enforcement. There’s a resentment toward authority. You don’t want those people on your jury. It may appear as if you’re being racist, but you’re just being realistic.

In selecting blacks, you don’t want real educated ones. This goes across the board. All races. If you’re going to take blacks, you want older black men and women, particularly men. Older black men are very good. Guys seventy, seventy-five years old are from a different era; they have a different respect for the law. Older black women, on the other hand — when you have a black defendant who is a young  boy and they can  identify, a motherly type thing — are a little different. The men don’t have the same kind of maternal instinct.

Blacks from the South are excellent. Ask where they are from. If they say, I’ve lived in Philadelphia five years, if they are from South Carolina and places like that, I tell you, I don’t think you can ever lose with a jury of blacks from South Carolina. They are dynamite. They just have a different philosophy down there. They are law and order. They are on the cops’ side. Those people are good.

Young black women are very bad. There’s anantagonism. I guess maybe because they’re downtrodden in two respects: they are women, and they’re black. So they want to take it out on somebody, and you don’t want it to be you.

You don’t want social workers. That’s obvious. They got intelligence, sensitivity, all this stuff. You don’t want them. Teachers   are bad, especially young teachers, teachers who teach grade school. Though sometimes I’ve had good luck with teachers who, teach In the public school system. They may be so fed up with the garbage in their school that they may say, “I know this  kind of kid. He’s a pain in the ass.”  If you get a white teacher teaching in a black school who’s sick of these guys, that may be one you accept.



From a transcript of remarks  by Jack McMahon.  In a training videotape he made for the city’s prosecutors while he was an assistant d.a. McMahon made the tape in 1987, a year after the US Supreme Court had ruled  that lawyers  could not eliminate potential jurors on the basis of race. Published in Harpers Magazine June 1997.

K. KersplebedebK. KersplebedebK. Kersplebedeb

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