Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tobin Claims Jury Biased

James Tobin, a Bangor native and leading Republican operative who is being charged with masterminding a campaign to block democratic phone lines during the 2002 New Hampshire Senate election is challenging the indictments against him on the basis that some members of the grand jury were Democrats. His attorneys are arguing that only a panel made up of all Republicans can legally indict him since his alleged crime made all Democrats in NH his "victims".

It looks like the trial itself will also be highly politicized. From the AP:
James Tobin also wants to know whether they´re Democrats, Republicans or independents and whether they watch TV shows such as "West Wing," CNN´s "Crossfire," MSNBC´s "Hardball," or "The McLaughlin Group," which mostly runs on public television stations.

Those questions are part of a proposed jury pool questionnaire for Tobin´s trial on charges he conspired to jam Democrats´ get-out-the-vote phones on Election Day 2002, as well as a ride-to-the-polls line run by the Manchester firefighters union.

"You don´t have to do research to know that someone who likes "West Wing" isn´t going to like these defendants," said Patricia McEvoy, a Chicago jury consultant[...]

The proposed questionnaire asks prospective jurors about union membership, whether they´ve ever had a bumper sticker on their car and what it said, what Web logs they read, and whether the take part in online chat groups.

Tobin´s lawyers also want jurors to describe themselves by checking off all that apply: "aggressive, articulate, emotional, entrepreneurial, intelligent, laid back, loyal, naive, perceptive, stubborn, (or) other."

That's right, Tobin is trying to pack a jury with Republicans and hope they let him off purely on ideological grounds. I guess it wasn't enough just to pervert our electoral system, it looks like he's going after the judicial system now as well.

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Doesn't he have a limited number of challenges? Wouldn't that be like me saying I wanted an all female jury that belong to unions? 

Posted by Lorrie

5/19/2005 09:04:00 PM


This guy is obviously just another Bush operative who is willing to subvert our constitution for the political gains of the Republican Party, not that I have great admiration for the Democratic Party. I do realize that persons indicted are considered “innocent” until proven “guilty,” but come on people. The handwriting is on the wall. Pick up a copy of “Escape from Freedom” and see if you can discover any parallels.


Posted by susan

8/11/2005 09:26:00 AM



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