Judge Rejects Request To Exclude Jews from Serving on Jury
by Zach Pontz
A judge yesterday tossed out a defense attorney’s plea to ban Jews from serving as jurors at the trial of his Muslim client.
According to the New York Post, Brooklyn federal Judge Eric Vitaliano ruled that using only a person’s religion to exclude them from a jury would be unconstitutional.
Frederick Cohn, who is Jewish, said he wanted a fair trial for his client, Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, whose Web site contains “inflammatory” views about Israel and who is accused of making false statements about seeking to join jihadists.
“Given that there’s going to be inflammatory testimony about Jews and Zionism, I think it would be hard for Jews to cast aside any innate antipathy,” Cohn had originally argued.
But the judge wasn’t having it.
“If any juror — regardless of race, creed, national origin, sex — can’t accept the instruction of the court . . . that juror doesn’t belong on the jury,” Vitaliano said.