Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Judge blasts "knucklehead" juror


By guest columnist Cleland Thom
In UK courts, judges use refined, public school language. Not so in St Louis, Missouri, where a judge recently told a man he was a "knucklehead".

The victim, Kevin Hink, wasn’t the defendant, or even a lawyer. He was a juror, just doing his civic duty in a sexual harassment case presided over by St. Louis circuit judge Timothy Wilson.

Hink and his fellow jurors had to fix damages in a sexual harassment case involving a St. Louis police officer.

The judge said they could award punitive damages, and Hink Googled the term to see who got the dosh. Then he suggested $7m. The information he found on Wiki information was, in fact, wrong.

The defence tried to get the case thrown out because of Hink’s misconduct.

The judge refused, but said: ‘Such knucklehead juror misconduct is in stark defiance of repeated admonitions by this court not to access Google concerning the case.’

Judge Wilson then halved the damages. It’s not clear whether the recipient called him a knucklehead in response.

Cleland Thom is principal of CTJT, who provide a New York tabloid internship in partnership with Manhattan News

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