A Constitutional Right to Have Oldfolks on the Jury?

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Ralph
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A Constitutional Right to Have Oldfolks on the Jury?

Post by Ralph » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:55 am

Lawyer: Client too old to get fair trial
Elderly murder suspect's lawyer argues against young jury

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A 79-year-old woman set to be tried on charges that she fatally shot her 85-year-old ex-beau is being deprived of her constitutional right to a fair trial, her attorney said.

The reason? Because the potential jurors are not old enough for her to be judged by a jury of her peers.

As Lena Sims Driskell peered over her gold-rimmed glasses at potential jurors in her murder trial, there was no one in the crowd even close to her age.

Driskell is nearly a decade older than the legal age for exemption as a juror in the state of Georgia, which is 70.

Of the 58 potential jurors at the start of jury selection in Driskell's case Monday, all but five appeared to be younger than 65. A list of the potential jurors' ages was not immediately available.

Some jurors were young enough to be Driskell's grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

Juror No. 21, a tow-headed young man in a T-shirt and cargo shorts, appeared barely old enough to vote.

"This is the youngest jury pool I've ever seen," said Driskell's attorney, Deborah Poole. "Most of these people look under 30. How does one have a trial when you are not able to include a whole class of people in the jury?"
Couple had split

Driskell is accused of fatally shooting Herman Winslow as he read the newspaper at the senior citizens home where the two lived.

After dating for a year, police said Driskell became angry when Winslow broke off their relationship and started seeing another woman.

Driskell is charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for Winslow's death on June 10, 2005.

Police say she was wearing a hairnet, stockings, a bathrobe and slippers, when she confronted Winslow at his apartment in Hightower Manor, where she was also a resident.

The former couple had recently returned from a getaway to Daytona Beach, Florida, before the split, according to police.

After Winslow complained, a security guard tried to calm down Driskell, but when he turned around, Driskell drew an antique handgun she had hidden behind her back, put the gun to Winslow's head and fired up to four times, Atlanta Detective D.B. Mathis said.

"I did it and I'd do it again!" Driskell was quoted as yelling to the officers who found her waving the gun and holding her finger on the trigger when they arrived.

At the jury selection Monday, only three potential jurors said they would be unable to pass judgment on someone older than themselves.

And when asked whether there were any members of advocacy groups for elderly people, none raised a hand.

Fulton County Superior Court Jury Clerk Jennifer Lawson said that while senior citizens are not excluded from jury service, any person 70 or older may be excused from jury duty with the submission of an age affidavit.

Opening statements in the trial could begin Tuesday. The trial is expected to last no more than three days.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Fani Willis, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment. Prosecutors are not pursuing the death penalty.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/06/19/geria ... index.html
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:07 am

If she really did it as described, I don't see any problem with sentencing her to 25 to life. They should send her to Sing-Sing or Dannemora, though, because the prisoners there are always looking for girlfriends.

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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:29 am

jbuck919 wrote:If she really did it as described, I don't see any problem with sentencing her to 25 to life. They should send her to Sing-Sing or Dannemora, though, because the prisoners there are always looking for girlfriends.
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Many of them sort of have them. :)
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Corlyss_D
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Re: A Constitutional Right to Have Oldfolks on the Jury?

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:08 pm

Ralph wrote:Lawyer: Client too old to get fair trial
Elderly murder suspect's lawyer argues against young jury
Nice try. Forget it.
Driskell is accused of fatally shooting Herman Winslow as he read the newspaper at the senior citizens home where the two lived.

After dating for a year, police said Driskell became angry when Winslow broke off their relationship and started seeing another woman.

Driskell is charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for Winslow's death on June 10, 2005.

Police say she was wearing a hairnet, stockings, a bathrobe and slippers, when she confronted Winslow at his apartment in Hightower Manor, where she was also a resident.
I spent a lot of time talking with the nurse who ran the Adult Day Care where my mom was before I had to put her in the nursing home. She assured me that the place was like junior high as far as the raging hormones and bizarre behavior. The only surprise here is how the woman got a gun into the place . . . never mind. My mom kept a box cutter in her purse and used it to cut the electronic monitoring device off her wrist until I confiscated it. She like my mom probably brought it with her.
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