Gun Control Advocates OK For Jury Duty. Depending.

Back in the day (2007), rapper Lupe Fiasco‘s business partner was convicted of possessing six kilos of heroin with intent to distribute and sentenced to 44 years in prison. Part of the penalty was down to the fact that Charles “Chilly” Patton was packing when the cops came a’ rappin’ (in their own special way). Patton appealed his conviction, claiming that the judge should have asked the jurors whether they had any “biases” against firearms. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, affirming an Illinois Supreme Court decision ruling that the defense should have raised those issues during jury selection. D’oh! [FYI: Patton was Gulf War veteran whose ascendancy as a Chicago drug dealer depended on his ties to Nigerians and his alleged ability to use record deals for cash flow.]

comments

  1. avatar Martin Albright says:

    Is it normal for attorneys to inquire about prospective juror’s political opinions during voir dire? I would think not only is it not normal, it is highly inappropriate, unless that political opinion was in some way directly related to some issue that is in contention in the trial.

    And if the question of whether the defendant “used” a firearm during the felony was a question of law, rather than a question of fact (and I believe it is) then the jury would not have been involved in that determination at all so any possible biases would be irrelevant.

    More likely this is just a “hail mary” (a/k/a grasping-at-straws) attempt to appeal the conviction on specious grounds.

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