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NY Times: Race Turns into Big Issue in Jury Selection of Ex-Aides to John Liu


John LiuDefense attorneys in the trial of former aides to New York City mayoral candidate John Liu (pictured here) tried in vain to keep an Asian American on the jury. But the judge wasn’t buying it.

According to the New York Times, the issue of race has been brought up by both the defense and the prosecution during jury selection.

“She’s probably one of the few Asians that have a chance” of being picked for the jury, said defense attorney Gerald B. Lefcourt.

But Judge Richard J. Sullivan of Federal District Court in Manhattan remained unconvinced.

“That is not the issue here,” he said. “I am not going to have a different standard for Asians who might be on the jury. I am taking that completely off the table.”

Lefcourt says not one Asian was selected for the jury.

“This is about a very large minority in New York City,” he said

The prosecution complained that 70 percent of the defense’s challenges came against white jurors. But again the judge could not be swayed.

About half the jury chosen appears to be black or Hispanic.

Jia Hou and Xing Wu Pan are accused of conspiring in an illegal campaign finance scheme.

You can read a lot more about the role race plays in jury selection in the New York Times.




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