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Jury selection began today in the second Jordan Miles V. Saldutte et al civil suit in federal court.
Out of the 61 potential jurors, only 5 were of African American descent. Three jurors were dismissed immediately, after presenting letters of hardship to Judge David Cercone, lowering the total pool to 58 potential jurors.
Out of the 58 remaining jurors, 33 informed the court that they were familiar with the Jordan Miles case through the TV, Internet, word of mouth, or in print. Despite this being nigh impossible for any resident of Pittsburgh at any point during the last four years, all of the 33 were dismissed.
One out of the five African-American potential jurors had served as a juror in the past in a police misconduct case. He was dismissed.
Attorneys for the defense, Campell, Wymard, and Leight seemed very pleased with themselves forgetting admitted into evidence bullets allegedly found on Monica Wooding’s property days after the altercation between the three officers and Miles.
Judge Cercone opened today’s proceedings with light-hearted humor, referencing popular movies such as My Cousin Vinnie, and informed jurors that the constitution exists to keep government out of our lives, aside from paying our taxes and doing jury duty. Cercone leaned fully back in his chair, as phase 1 and 2 of jury questioning began. Phase 3 of the selection/questioning process was conducted away from the public, inside the judge’s chambers.
Most of the questions to jurors related to their professions, where they lived, if they had an attorney, and what their spouses/children did for a living. Several of the potential jurors were, in fact, lawyers themselves.
This is an excerpt from an interview with philosopher and author Paul Mattick Jr. It is the third in a series of interviews conducted with participants from the Global Uprisings conference, that occurred during the weekend of November 15-17th, 2013.
View more interviews and online documentaries at globaluprisings.org.