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Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Must Be Frustrated Seeing Prospective Black Jurors Bounced

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT –– Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick must have been frustrated on Thursday as he sat at the defense table in federal court in downtown Detroit during jury selection for his public corruption trial.

Kilpatrick complained recently that there weren’t enough prospective black jurors in the jury pool. Lawyers will tell you race can matter, particularly in a town like Detroit.

So imagine what he was thinking when only two of the 15 prospective jurors questioned in court by the defense, prosecution and judge, were black — and both wanted nothing to do with serving on the jury.

Both prospective jurors were woman who appeared to be in their late 20s or early 30s. The first woman said she didn’t feel she should judge anyone. The second woman said she had a job with a catering company and serving on the juror would create a hardship when it came to making a living. She also said she had been exposed to media reports about the case. The judge dismissed both from the trial.

In all, the court kept 11 in the jury pool and dismissed the rest. Of the 11, 10 were white males and females and one was a minority, possibly of South Asian origin. Additionally, a woman who never even appeared in court was also dismissed for hardship reasons.

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