[Nfbc-info] published letter

Michael Peterson its.mike at att.net
Sat Aug 21 19:25:01 UTC 2010

        Hi Chuck.
First thanks so much for taking the time to educate your community by 
challenging this ladies contentions. Your letter gives the public great 
information that dispels stereotypes and prejudice.
  Sounds like although blindness is being used the real "problem" is this 
lady doesn't want her aged mother to serve on juries.  I can honestly tell 
you not all the courts in CA are as above board as you describe in Fresno. 
When I was first ask to appear on jury duty I went to San Fernando. It was 
fun I worked for DMV at the time.  In fact because of transportation issues 
and time off requirements with pay it was all most like a vacation.  I  was 
going to be given a DUI case I think.  Anyway when the judge had me come up 
I was called in to chambers and the defense attorney used his exemplary 
challenge to disqualify me and it was using the very same arguments 
concerning "seeing the evidence"
 that your lady in Fresno used for her mother.
The attorney even ask me how would you know what I put up on a screen or 
what exhibits I was showing.  I offered a variety ofalternative techniques 
and also explained that it is his job to tailor his arguments to his 
audience whatever it's composition is, Although he could have easily 
disqualified me because I worked for the department of motor vehicles his 
problem and it was obvious was my blindness.
If I pursued the matter it would have been impossible to prove as the 
exemplary challenge requires no reason at all and neither the judge nore the 
prosecutor seemed interested in giving him any flack.

I when I had my cafeteria in Van Nuys was told we'll just take you out of 
the pool it's a hardship. and they did.  Again later in Van Nuys they took 
me off all they did is take one look and said oh don't worry about it.
Now in Rosamond they also ask me to go to Mojave and I had no transportation 
that was reliable so again I didn't serve.
In Van Nuys I would have willingly.
I suspect that the majority of blind people called to serve don't.
I also do think that some jury laws should be changed in the case of a 
senior who really isn't that healthy who might sleep during the proceedings 
do we really want him/her serving on a jury?
I guess he/she could get a doctor's note that would take care of the 
I had a next door neighbor who told them he had a felony just to get out of 
serving.  his infraction probably 30 years prior was Fishing without a 
license. He wasn't blind.
Probably if we really want blind people serving on juries as intended we 
need to do a lot more to educate the legal system it's self attorneys judges 
And that is a real problem when we are still fighting to get our blind legal 
students to be able to get through their studies without discrimination.
I wonder if the truth were known in California what percentage of the blind 
ask to serve on juries actualy do and what per centage actually don't.
I also wonder for those who didn't why were they exempted?
To bad the jury exemptions aren't "transparent"
IN Los angeles county the pool is big enough that some didn't need 
exemptions because you just call in every day and your group gets excused. 
That too seems weird to me for a court system that is backlogged.
Mike Peterson

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <ckrugman at sbcglobal.net>
To: "NFBC" <nfbc-info at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 6:16 PM
Subject: [Nfbc-info] published letter

> Thought you would be interested in this exchange of letters to the editor 
> in the Fresno Bee.
> Chuck
> Blind can serve on juries
> Posted at 12:06 AM on Friday, Aug. 20, 2010I am greatly offended by the 
> Aug. 15 letter written by Sandy Johnson bemoaning the fact that her 
> 92-year-old mother, who is legally blind, was called for jury duty. As a 
> blind paralegal, I review and evaluate critical evidence every day.
> In California, and throughout the country, there are blind people who are 
> jurors, lawyers and judges who effectively carry out these duties on a 
> daily basis, and who are proud to serve in these capacities.
> While provisions for hardship exist for people to be excused from jury 
> duty, fortunately the court is aware of the provisions set forth in 
> California Code of Civil Procedure Section 203(a)6 and properly carries 
> out their duty to ensure that the right to serve as a juror is granted to 
> all eligible Fresno County residents.
> Rather than relying on negative stereotypes of the blind, perhaps Ms. 
> Johnson could help her mother and other blind people by becoming familiar 
> with the positive achievements and undertakings of the blind by 
> familiarizing herself with organizations such as the National Federation 
> of the Blind.
> Charles L. Krugman
> Fresno
> Clueless Superior Court
> Posted at 12:36 AM on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010Well, once again, the Superior 
> Court of Fresno County has summoned my nearly 92-year-old mother to jury 
> duty. This is the second summons she has received in the past six months. 
> In addition to being elderly, and mom would not be insulted that I used 
> this term, she is legally blind and has been for nearly 20 years.
> The summons notice gives various reasons to claim you are ineligible, but 
> none of them fit her situation. If you are curious, you can check out 
> reasons you are ineligible on their website. So, once again, I have 
> written to the Superior Court to explain the circumstances.
> I had hoped that my first letter would take care of it, but apparently 
> that is not the case.
> I guess we just have to assume that the prospective jury pool in Fresno is 
> just so small that they need to select anyone who stands upright. No 
> matter that the juror cannot read or view any evidence. Of course, she 
> could just ignore the summons, not appear and then wait for a sheriff to 
> show up and arrest her. Won't he be surprised! If that is the case, I will 
> be sure to have the local TV stations filming the arresting officer. News 
> at 11!
> Sandy Johnson
> Coarsegold
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