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Juror says he’s too homophobic and racist to serve, now faces prosecution

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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Judge Gary Burrell dismissed a potential juror who said he was too racist to serve. (Southampton Crown Court)


A British man who said his "extreme homophobic and racist views" should make him ineligible for jury duty now faces prosecution over the claim.

The Daily Echo reports that the man's identity is being kept anonymous for now but that Judge Gary Burrell QC read the leader in open court. In the letter, the man writes:

"I strongly believe that it would be a serious injustice to the legal system to select me for jury service.

"I hold extreme prejudices against homosexuals and black/foreign people and couldn't possibly be impartial if either appeared in court. Therefore it would not be in the court's interest to have me a juror."

In addition, the man said that if he were selected, he also would not pay attention to the case and would simply vote with the majority.

The man had been selected to serve on a jury in the case of a man on trial for assault and reckless driving. And while Burrell questioned the authenticity of the man's claim, he nonetheless dismissed him from jury duty.

Though he escaped jury duty, the man could soon find himself on trial. The prosecutor and defense attorneys in the case, barristers Rebecca Austin and Robert Bryan, stepped outside their traditional role of legal combatants to lodge a joint complaint against the man.

Under Britain's Contempt of Courts Act, he could face prison time or a fine for failing to serve on jury duty.

"The Attorney General's Office is aware of this case, and we await more information from Judge Burrell," said a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.

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