On April 9, 2012, my civil trial was beginning. Thirty jurors enter the room, as I read their questionnaires. Out of thirty jurors each of them answered a questioned. The question was,
WOULD THEY BELIEVE A POLICE OFFICER OR A STATE TROOPER BEFORE THEY BELIEVED A VICTIM?
EVERY ONE OF THEM ANSWERED, THAT YES, THEY WOULD BELELIVE THE POLICE OFFICER OR STATE TROOPER FIRST.
All the jurors were Caucasian except one, who was Asian. I was amazed that not one was either African American or Latino or Latina but when you walked around down town Lancaster, all I saw were both Latino’s and African American.
Anyone with common sense would question why not one person of Latino or African American backround were on the jury pool? This should have been a mistrial once the questionnaire was revealed that most of the jurors would have believed a police officer or state trooper.
I will never stop speaking out against officer involved domestic violence. I will not stop helping all victims and survivors of domestic violence. To the jurors - blaming, shaming and guilting me for what happened to me, makes me stronger. I will not dig myself into a hole, I will stand strong for life.
God bless all of you,
[Ms. Torres is author of Abuse Hidden Behind the Badge]
[police officer violence brutality negligence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety justice injustice travesty pennsylvania state politics]
YOU ARE MY HERO AND WARRIOR, THROUGHOUT ALL THESE YEARS, YOU HAVE STAND BY ME AND ALWAYS BELIEVED IN ME AND SUPPORTED ME. THANK YOU MY HERO FOR EVERYTHING, GOD BLESS YOU MY FRIEND.ReplyDelete
MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT,
What didn't kill you only made you stronger. Some days I know that the things meant for evil in my life have turned for good. The same for you. I cannot count how many ways you have enriched, educated, and encouraged others - because of the trials and tribulations you have gone through. God is good like that.Delete
My name is Sarah Kabo. I am a Surviver of domestic violence from a Police Officer, as well as a victim of a Pre- Meditated plan to take my baby and leave me homeless from my own brother in law enforcement and his wife. I respect you Rosa for your Courage, Strenth and Will to Continue this journey. You are a Amazing Inspiration to so many of us that struggle every day, with the Injustice of the Courts, as well as the affect of the Abuse.. God Bless You for Standing Up and may you find Peace and Serenity.Delete
Justice does not rely on individual racial prejudice towards jurors.Facts are presented, and a decision was made. Please stop playing the race cardReplyDelete
What does that mean, "individual racial prejudice"?Delete
The race card is often relevant, and there is nothing in this great country of ours that has been accomplished towards equality without first asking some questions.
I dream of a future where race no longer matters, and any mention of it is moot - but that time has not yet come.
If you are Latina and have an all white jury that has already said it believes police officers over others, there is ROOM to wonder in our present times, out loud, how fair the decision was.
It's Rosa's prerogative to speak without being anonymously told not to.
Oh my, I am not racist :(. I just wanted to know why? I love all my people. I would protect all PEOPLE, God bless.Delete
I personally believe that there is a concerted effort to keep minority residents from Lancaster City off of juries.Delete
The United States government is not a fair to woman issues. OIDV Survvivors never get the justice they deserve.I trutly believe its time for a massive protest like Kony, but doe us OIDV Survivor, child abuse , and all tht have been violated our own civil and constitutional rights.Color of skin has nothing to do with this, its what between two legs and dangles. Woman rights is just a myth.ReplyDelete
I was watching the dynamics of that KONY 2012 movement too, analyzing how they achieved that. Masterful and relevant to others who have something to say and want to be heard.Delete
Rosa's above statement does NOT "blame" race, but *I* would like to say that race and ethnicity are still relevant topics in court cases.ReplyDelete
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
ANGEL ORTIZ, et al.
COUNTY OF PHILADELPHIA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 06-cv-4275
March 12, 2010
Before the Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Complaint, which alleges that Hispanics/Latinos are underrepresented in the grand and petit juries of Philadelphia County. Because a ruling in Plaintiffs’ favor in this case would undermine the validity of Plaintiffs’ criminal convictions, Defendant’s Motion is granted. Plaintiffs’ case is dismissed without prejudice...
...Philadelphia County does not recognizes Hispanics/Latinos as members of a distinct racial group, instead placing them in “black or white racial groupings.” As a result, Plaintiff Ortiz alleges that he was convicted by a jury with no Hispanic/Latino members, selected from a venire with no Hispanic/Latino candidates...
Even before the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the Supreme Court recognized that the systemic exclusion of racial or ethnic groups from juries “is at war with our basic concepts of a democratic society and a representative government”...
IN N.Y. JURY POOLS, BLACKS AND HISPANICS UNDERREPRESENTED: REPORT
The International Business Times
By DAN RIVOLI
December 8, 2011 6:34 PM EST
In New York jury pools, blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented around the state where they make up a sizable portion of the population, according to a recent report from the Office of Court Administration. The report, the first of its kind in New York, compared the racial makeup of jury pools in counties over the last year to the demographics of each county... Hispanics were underrepresented in jury pools for each New York City borough, Long Island and Westchester, among other counties. Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau's report was the result of a 2010 law requiring a survey of New York's jury pools to determine whether jurors represent a fair cross-section of the population. Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn, Assemblyman Rory Lancman of Queens and state Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx - all Democrats - were the bill's sponsors. "The hard data in the OCA study is deeply disturbing and shows that the court system in New York City is not working hard enough to bring in peers as diverse as the communities that Assemblyman Lancman and I serve," said Jeffries...
GOVERNOR SIGNS "JURY POOL FAIR REPRESENTATION ACT" INTO LAW: First step toward ensuring that New York's juries look like New York's peopleReplyDelete
New York State Assembly's Web Site
June 17, 2010
Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) and Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) announce that Governor Paterson yesterday signed into law the Jury Pool Fair Representation Act (A.2374/S.2613).
This law requires the recording of demographic data of jurors reporting to jury service to determine the extent to which jury pools in New York State represent a fair cross-section of the community. In 2006 Citizen Action-New York released a study suggesting that minorities are severely under-represented in civil jury pools in New York County, confirming what practitioners in that jurisdiction have observed for years. Numerous witnesses at an Assembly hearing on this legislation in the Spring of 2009 testified to a similar conclusion... "One of the many strengths of our judicial system is the option of a trial by a jury of our peers," Governor Paterson said...
HERNANDEZ V. TEXAS: LEGACIES OF JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE
University of Houston Law Center
Kevin R. Johnson
...The Supreme Court concluded that the systematic exclusion of Mexican Americans from petit and grand juries violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment... Latina/os are significantly underrepresented on juries. Unfortunately, racially skewed juries undermine the perceived impartiality of the justice system and the rule of law... Exclusion of Latina/os from jury service denoted the subordinated status of Latina/os in American social life. Moreover, racially skewed juries almost unquestionably affected the outcomes of cases. The Supreme Court’s decision in Hernandez v. Texas was the first to expressly acknowledge such discrimination... Despite the promise of Hernandez v. Texas, Latina/os remain seriously underrepresented on juries... By excluding certain perspectives from the jury room, the underrepresentation of Latina/os on grand and petit juries threatens to allow for poorer decisionmaking and to undermine the impartiality of the jury system, as well as the civil and criminal justice systems as a whole. Underepresentation of Latina/os on juries, as well as on the judiciary, dampens the belief among Latina/os in the fairness and impartiality of the justice system and promotes cynicism and distrust of the system and its outcomes Over time, the underrepresentation and correlated problems have gotten worse, not better. After an initial increase in representation after the Court decided Hernandez v. Texas, the underrepresentation of Latina/os on juries has grown over the years...