Judge tells jurors they got verdict wrong

Juror says judge 'berated us' after acquittal in assault case.
MCT Regional News
Aug 7, 2013

LaShawn Chapman voted “not guilty” on Thursday along with her fellow Franklin County Municipal Court jurors in a misdemeanor assault case.

Then Chapman went home and cried, not because of the stress of deliberation, but because of what Judge Amy Salerno said to the jury after the verdict.

“(The judge) said, ‘Ninety-nine percent of the time, the jury is correct,'" according to Chapman. "'Now it’s 98 percent. You got this wrong.'

“She berated us,” Chapman, 39, said of the judge. “It was just nasty.”

Four of the eight jurors who decided the case have complained to Administrative Judge James E. Green about how Salerno spoke to them afterward, Green said yesterday.

Salerno criticized the jurors in front of other people in the courtroom, according to the complaints. She also suggested that there would be another opportunity to convict the defendant because he was charged in another case in front of her, according to the jurors.

“Based on what they said to me, I am disturbed at the behavior,” Green said.

He said he has talked to Salerno about what happened. He also plans to talk to the jurors “to try to restore their belief in the system we work in,” he said.

Green could file a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, though he would not say whether he will take that step.

In an interview yesterday, Salerno said the verdict had surprised her; she echoed a printed statement she provided to The Dispatch that read: “(I) failed to contain my surprise at this particular meeting (with jurors).”

She and other judges regularly meet with jurors after a verdict to discuss the process, and that is what she did on Thursday, she said.

“I try to treat everyone courteously,” Salerno said yesterday. “If someone found it offensive, I am sorry.”

Joseph McGee, 36, was charged with assault and disorderly conduct in a Nov. 12 incident on the Near East Side. Surveillance video showed him appearing to strike another man. A Columbus police report said that McGee and the other man had an “ongoing feud spanning several years.”

Chapman, the juror, said the men had conflicting stories, and it was hard to tell who to believe.

McGee also has been charged with aggravated menacing, menacing and witness intimidation in another case with the same man.

Salerno was assigned as the judge in that case, but she recused herself after Thursday’s court session. She said yesterday that she did so because some of the same people would be witnesses and it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to hear it.

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By Jeb Phillips - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

TheGravyWhisperer

...once a jury receives instructions, seems to me the ball is in their court ...once the verdict is read, the judge can have his/her opinion, as can anyone else, but an 'after the verdict' scolding (and one so nasty in front of others sitting in the courtroom) can only serve to estrange those jurors (or future others in front of that judge) from further willingness to serve ...I'm surprised that one so sage as 'judge' Salerno is not familiar with the phrase "criticize in private, praise in public..." ...oooh, sorry judge, did I just do that?

ROFLMAO

I'm betting canadians.

Scranton Tibbs

It's ALWAYS canadians....

TheGravyWhisperer

...ROL and ST ...closet Canadians

Scranton Tibbs

TGW....Jungle fever.

TheGravyWhisperer

...Jungle Boogie

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

What is the point of a jury then if the judge thought they got it wrong?

CAST THE FIRST STONE

their opinion is law..HELLO