culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Monday, February 03, 2003
Bad judges mean bad judgment. You can't trust a judge who is predisposed to convict and
conceals relevant evidence:
Jurors said pot grower Ed Rosenthal never had a chance with U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer blocking defense attempts to show Rosenthal was growing marijuana for dispensaries and clubs serving seriously ill people. The only evidence left was that Rosenthal was guilty of conspiring to grow more than 100 plants.

Rosenthal might have been acquitted, jurors said, if the judge had allowed the defense to show he was officially working for Oakland under the city's medical marijuana evidence.

"If we'd known he was hired by the city, I would have said this guy didn't deserve any of this," said Pamela Klarkowski, a Petaluma nurse on the jury. "I feel used. It's horrible. We didn't get the whole picture."

"I feel used."Charles Sackett, the jury foreman, said many jurors were frustrated that they faithfully followed the judge's instructions only to learn after the trial that they weren't given any evidence about why Rosenthal was growing the marijuana.

"It's ironic. The public probably knew much more about this case than we did," said Sackett, a Sebastopol landscape contractor.

"The reason some of the jurors have been so angry is because we weren't given all of the evidence. The evidence allowed just tilted the outcome of the case to the point where the outcome was a done deal from the beginning."
This is one of the reasons people hate jury duty so much — they sense that they are mere pawns being manipulated by scheming attorneys and, in this case, a judge with an agenda.

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