A Motion and set of Exhibits filed in USA v Scruggs and Bankstrom late yesterday requested Reconsideration of the Anonymous Jury Order – not a bad idea since the Order met the legal standard for the ruling by considering unproven “allegations and inferences” sworn to in open court by Tim Balducci and others as”evidence”.
Aside from addressing this point, the Motion for Reconsideration offers an “or” option – an alternative jury questionnaire; and also requests reconsideration of a change of venue; and expanded voir dire procedures with a Memorandum of Law.
As a graduate of the “Google School of Law”, I’ll move on to something I feel competent to address – and that’s any sort of questionnaire. Over the years, I’ve found only one way to get a questionnaire completed – the literacy problems in our State are just that severe. It will take someone reading the questions aloud – preferably supported by a Power Point presentation of each page – and at least one other person in the room free to provide one-on-one assistance.
In other words, an anonymous jury selection process can exclude a significant portion of our population from the jury pool unless accomodations are made.
Conversely, it could also result in an over-representation of better educated citizens in jury pool – increasing the likelihood prospective jurors will have prior knowledge of the case.
A common undertone, if not theme, to the critical comments about Dickie Scruggs has been no one is above the law. Given this consensus and the complexity of issues around jury selection, would it not be wise to learn more from Judge Lackey before moving forward?