As many of you may know,the trial of Kevon Neal, the man charged with motor vehicle manslaughter in the death of Prince George’s County Police Officer Adrian Morris, ended in a mistrial after a juror was nullified from continuing to serve.
During jury selection, potential jurors are asked a number of questions to determine their eligibility to hear a case. One of the questions routinely asked is whether or not anyone would be unable to serve due to their religion and in this case, this juror said nothing. Despite her participation for three days of the trial and several hours of deliberation, the juror sent the presiding judge a late-night email saying she could not judge Mr. Neal because of her religion.
Then, when questioned by the judge, the juror did not say anything about her religion, instead saying that she did not know the defendant and did not, “have a dog in the fight.”
This is a very serious matter in which a police officer lost his life and it appears this juror simply did not take their role seriously at all. The actions of this juror are a complete disgrace. A jury’s role is very powerful and significant. Our citizens deserve to have safe communities and one of the ways we ensure that happens is for them to sit as jurors and decide who they feel should or should not be allowed to walk our streets.
When mistrials occur due to a dishonest juror it is a tremendous waste of resources and time. It also delays closure for the families looking to move past a difficult time in their lives. So I implore you all to take your role seriously if you have the privilege to be called to serve our community as a juror.
Angela D. Alsobrooks