Saturday, January 05, 2013


Buju Banton, the Jamaican reggae star serving a 10 year prison sentence after two federal trials, may have a new chance at freedom. The first trial ended in a mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict. Buju was represented in both trials by everyone's favourite federal blogger: David O Markus. 

Now comes word that the forewoman of the second jury conducted improper internet research into the case during deliberations. The Tampa Bay Online article is here. 

NB: the statement by DOM that when the jury went out they were 10-2 for acquittal. 

This business of internet access by jurors is just going to get worse, which brings the "S" word- sequestration- back into play.   And that costs money, which no politician/chief judge will be willing to pay. And yet we sequestered jurors in big cases for decades, when there were no cell phones and the only worry was the daily paper. 

Query: Should juries in serious cases (whatever that term means) be sequestered? And if so, when? When the trial begins, or when deliberations begin?

Enjoy your weekend. 


Anonymous said...

There's a time in the not too distant future when it will be time to call the Shumie on Buju's imprisonment and free the brother.

Secret Judge said...

Yes, hopefully the day will come when justice will be achieved in the Buju case. i would respectfully suggest that the Shoomie commenter be incarcerated to take Buju's place in prison. That would be justice of the highest order and remove that loser from our midst.

Anonymous said...

Bah! What shumie hath joined together, let no one not named "shoomie" disparage forever.

Jamming said...

I'm jamming wit da Buju

"Unabridged American Minority" said...

I know you closed minded assholes want believe this but buju is a good dude I partied with him once we share the same birth dates. He I and Luke celebrated with him back in 2000 he's a cool dude very intelligent too.

"No respect, disrespect, in all aspects them na know who dem ah deal wit hauf fi stop and check."

Free Buju Banton Big Up!

Oh yeah, I just got back from seeing Django, awsome movie I going to see it again. Moment of silence for abolitionist John Brown who's actions precipitated the Civil War which still is present in this Country, --. May his soul be in heaven, John Brown and Nat Turner, and for good measure if they have to have a trial at the pearly gates may Johnnie L. Cochran Sr. be their Lawyer. Fuck you racist crackers.


"Unabridged American Minority" said...

I met buju at 99jamz radio statin on my birthday when we realized we shared birth dates we partied at the then gspot & fat black pussy cats on south beach with Uncle Luke. I'll never forget that, those were my college days. I really hope Buju gets out.

Anonymous said...

"Shumie" means Shit for U and Me.

Anonymous said...

I vow to use the word "reconnoiter" twice on the record in court this week. Anyone want to top me?

Anonymous said...


"Preeminently, I would like to see more post and discussion on the more intricate aspects of the law, i.e., such as interlocutory workings, complex litigation, voir dire, real courtroom experiences, amendments to jury instructions etc., and less approving of the incendiary and bromidic comments

posted by the lesser inclined, who frequent the blog."

" "Unabridged American Minority" said...
I know you closed minded assholes want believe this"

You are a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

"Django Unchained" rules. Sam Jackson did a kick ass job in the film!
Man, going to see this again, like they said at the end of Inglorious Basterds, QT may have found his masterpiece. Dont get me wrong i respect the classics, but dammit, Django is up there too. It's real, full of action, comedy, drama, horses that nod on introduction and prance in victory. All the characters are unbelievably convincing. This movie is the greatest released in a very long time.

"A fortuitous turn of events brought Django and myself together"

Dr. King Schultz, Django Unchained

Anonymous said...

Respect the Shumie and all it stands for.

Anonymous said...

Courtroom weird words!!! We used to play that in the PDS office in the old days. Worst beating I ever took was when Old Tom Fitzsimmons bet me a dinner at Place for Steak that he could use Lollapallloza properly before Judge Tankersly three times in a trial. And of course he did it. And if you remember old Fitz he could eat like no tomorrow. Cost me a C note when C notes were big cash.

Anonymous said...

David Markus is one of the few trial lawyers left in this town. He is starting another trial soon. Who else is there? Mike Pasano. Roy Black. (His recent loss will be reversed too, like Markus' for juror misconduct). Some of the FPDs, like Mike Caruso. Everyone else just pleads pleads pleads. Big ups to DOM and the trial lawyers for being warriors.

Anonymous said...

I saw T-Fitz eat that 60oz or whatever the size it was when Shula's steakhouse first opened and had that deal that if you ate the entire big steak it was free. I saw him eat one three days in a row. When he came back for the fourth night the manager shook his hand, gave him a $100 bucks to go to Mortons and told him not to come back unless he wanted to pay.

True story.

DS said...

AM is there anything you have not done EXCEPT tried a case to a Jury and walked your client?

Anonymous said...

Is Shumie Time in the dictionary? It should be.

The Old Historian said...

Boy, some of these comments suggest a lot of people have too much time on their hands and are in desperate need of psychiatric help. Specifically, 9:24. There was NO old Tom Fitzsimmons who ever worked in the PDs office. There also was no Judge Tankersly. There was a Judge John Tanksley. Pretty sad when dudes, who obviously have no sex life, have to resort to making up the names of characters who never existed in order to amuse themselves. We can only hope and pray that they are not members of the Bar. The Blog becomes more sophomoric with each passing day.

Grey Tesh said...


Many clients think their case is serious. Especially first timers. Repeat offenders, not so much. The jury should be sequestered if there is substantial pre-trial publicity and the client is facing serious time. When the trial begins – in capital cases. When deliberation begins – all others.

Realistically though, the government ain't gonna pay for it 99% of the time. One possible exception – if the pretrial publicity affects that judge's chances in the next election (if state court judge). So how do we fight for our clients right to a fair trial?

Ralph Artigliere has an excellent law review article on this.



As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes so eloquently stated in Patterson v. Colorado, “The theory of our system is that the conclusions to be reached in a case will be induced only by evidence and argument in open court, and not by any outside influence, whether of private talk or public print.”

Here's how one state court judge does it: (from the law review article)

I have two ways I can do this. I can lock you up—that‘s called sequestering, it‘s a fancy word for locking you up—during the course of the trial, or I can have you promise me that you will strictly abide by my instructions during the trial and not do any investigations, not have any communications about the case. . . . Will each of you promise me that you will follow those instructions?

Take away cell phones during deliberations. Judge should explain why and provide an emergency number for juror family members while deliberations take place. The judge may warn jurors they will be asked after recesses and breaks if they did any research or communicated with anyone about the case. Then, the judge should follow up by asking jurors if they followed the instructions. Finally, jurors can be told it is their sworn duty as jurors to inform the court if they have intentionally or unintentionally obtained or received information or communicated with anyone outside the case.

Lawyers can also have their staff monitor the social networking activity of the jurors during the trial to determine whether jurors are blogging or posting information to the world.

Some jurors think the lawyers and judge are trying to hide evidence from them. I heard this in the last felony trial - about a month ago - and in a recent focus group. They look at it like this is their search for the truth. This problem is only going to get worse. But, if the client loses and one juror speaks out about the misconduct, can you say new trial?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I remember T Friz. Old boston guy. Big white mustache. Drove an old Corvette. Loved to eat and drink Whiskey. Hellavua trial lawyer. Finally got married in 80's and moved to Oregon where his wife was a surgeon. Works part time in Portland Pd office or at least did for a while.

old old pd said...

Tommy Fitz was friends with Michael Glickstein (rest in peace). They played a lot of cards and had a lot of dinners and tried a lot of case s back when the PDs office was THE office to get trained in. Plus there was a great picking of hot ct reporters. Those were the days. Take a depo- get you know what later that night after a spin at one of the bars in the Grove. like the Mutiny.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting and odd that when AM is challenged to a question as the one left by DS @10:42, he does not respond.

AM, are you down with Shumie?

The Old Historian @12:30, I can only hope and pray you call the Shumie.

Say it with me, Shuuuuuuuuuumie Time.

Rumpole said...

at the Skins/Seahawaks game. Great game - started as a blowout.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Which of the following types of comments are more annoying? Anything from that idiot American Minority, or any comment involving "Shumie" (or its variants)?

Can't stand either.

Anonymous said...

C'mon 10:33. DOM a trial lawyer? Sure, he tries cases, but so did Aktar Hussein! He's more the whiny bitch type, like the rest of you former federal PDs.

Anonymous said...