Tuesday, March 28, 2006

An odd reason to lie

The corruption trial of ex-Governor George Ryan was nearly derailed (and may yet be aborted) because two jurors lied on their questionnaires. They didn’t acknowledge potentially disqualifying history. One of them has felony convictions for drunk driving, and once had to be rousted from his home by the SWAT team, where he was holed up with unlicensed shotguns. The other has been arrested several times on drug charges. Both have been removed from the jury, which has been deliberating for several days, and replaced by alternate jurors. (This procedure may not survive appeal; the alternative is a mistrial.)

What baffles me is why they lied. Most people want to get out of jury duty, especially when it’s a big case that could last for months. Yet these people lied their way onto the jury in just such a case.


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