Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thank You B37

"When you are given lemons, make lemonade."

As impossible as it may seem, we have finally seen something that lasts less than a Kardashian marriage and that is the fame and potential fortune of Zimmerman jury member B37. Within a 36 hour news cycle, Ms. B37 had announced her contract for a book deal, semi-appeared with Anderson Cooper of AC360 and then quicker than you could say Kris Humphries, the book deal was kaput, other members of the Zimmerman jury rebutted and rebuked B37's comments on AC360 and B37 was shut down.

Anyone with a degree of common sense and intelligence was able to discern from her shadowed appearance on AC360, that B37 was clearly a opportunistic and unstable individual.  Putting aside from a moment the vulgarities of B37's agenda and the damages she has done to the integrity of the American jury system, I see the opportunity for a new fresh pitcher of lemonade.

For more years than I would care to admit, I had been functioning under the belief that the jury system is a sacred secular aspect of our legal system.  It is an civic opportunity and obligation of each able member of society to fulfill with the utmost of integrity and decorum. 

At least this is what we have been teaching in our Civic Classes for many years.

Sadly in recent years we have begun to see a new trend that seems to be trending in our jury system called post-trial commercialism.  It seems that after the conclusion of trials which garners national media coverage, we see members of such juries rushing off to wardrobe and make-up for their post trial press conferences and interviews on the cable news shows to share their experiences, observations and angst of the trial they participated in.  I find it odd that beginning with the process of jury selection, the names and identities of jurors are kept strictly confidential and their faces are never shown on television during the duration of the trial.  I have to wonder when it became common for former jury members to use their experiences for post-trial fame and notoriety.

For those who remember the original Henry Fonda version of the movie, "Twelve Angry Men," - the closing scene, just before the roll of credits begins contains a powerful fact about our jury system.  We see in this scene all of members of the jury heading off in different directions to resume their personal lives without any fanfare or without any exercise in self-promotions. Sometimes it now appears that as soon as jurors are discharged from their service, they have a publicist awaiting them outside of the courtroom prepared to guide them on the rounds of the media talk shows.

It is my sincere opinion that these demeaning and vulgar activities needs to end.

Thanks to the extreme outrageous behavior of B37, I am prepared to advocate legislation requiring jurors to maintain post-trial confidentiality and to prohibit any forms of post-trial profiteering.  

Yesterday, I sent letters to Illinois State Senator Kwane Rauol, Chairman of the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee, Illinois State Representative Elaine Nekritz, Chairperson of the Illinois House Judiciary Committee, Illinois State Senator John J. Cullerton, President of the Illinois State Senate and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan advocating new legislation establishing new guidelines for juror behavior and standards and I have committed the full weight of my office as Evangelical Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of the Northwest behind this effort.

I do not believe that any defendant in a case that garners notoriety should have to look at a potential pool of jurors and wonder how many of them hope to be selected in order reap financial benefit. 

Returning for a moment to the matter of George Zimmerman.  It is most probable that Mr. Zimmerman will be involved in future legal actions stemming from the death of Treyvon Martin.  It is my opinion that the actions of B37 has seriously poisoned the pool of potential future jurors needed for any new trials involving Mr. Zimmerman.  It is sad enough that we have to deal with Nancy Grace and her HLN comrades holding their rump courts of hysteria concurrent with the proceedings of actual trials, but B37 has now crossed such a significant line of acceptance that a thoughtful reaction needs to be discerned by society.

I hope that here in the State of Illinois we might become the vanguards responsible for protecting the sanctity of our jury system. 

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