Posts Tagged ‘Juror’

Karma’s a bitch-Arrogant professor who caused a mistrial as a juror gets a shot as a defendant this time around

July 24, 2008

Arrogant, psychology, and professor aren’t words that are typically used in the same sentence<end sarcasm>

STAUNTON — The Staunton grand jury directly indicted a former Mary Baldwin College psychology professor Monday on 26 counts of possession of child pornography after a student reportedly found the images on a campus desktop computer in October, according to the Staunton Police Department.

The indictments were handed down against Chadwick Blackwell, 40, of Staunton in Staunton Circuit Court.

Blackwell had been under suspicion since Oct. 19 when the student told officials at the college about seeing the images the day before, police said. The college waited four days to report the incident to the Staunton Police Department.

Asked why the college delayed relaying its findings to police, Staunton police spokeswoman Lisa Klein said, “I can’t comment on that.”

MBC spokeswoman Crista Cabe said Blackwell, an assistant professor of psychology, was suspended by the school in October and ordered not to appear on campus for any reason.

He resigned July 11, Cabe said.

As for the delay in reporting the incident, Cabe said, “I am convinced Mary Baldwin did the right thing and acted appropriately.”

Blackwell was a full-time employee since 2002 and on “tenure track,” she said.

Police confiscated the computer, and a forensics specialist employed by the city analyzed the images, said Klein, who would not discuss them in detail. “All I can tell you is that they’re sexually explicit images of children under the age of 18,” she said.

In April 2007, Blackwell made news during the jury trial of a Crimora woman accused in the drowning death of her 11-month-old daughter. As a juror in the case, Blackwell caused a mistrial when he interrupted the proceedings and offered his personal take on the interrogation of the woman by sheriff’s office investigators. While jurors watched a videotape of the questioning in open court, he demanded the tape be stopped.

“As a psychologist, this strikes me as coercive,” Blackwell blurted.

Minutes later, Circuit Judge Thomas H. Wood declared the mistrial and offered choice words for Blackwell.

“He is pompous and arrog@nd belief,” Wood said at the time.

Jurors hooked on the gateway game Sudoku cause drug trial to be aborted. “War on Sudoku” expected to enuse.

June 11, 2008

(tshirt of image above available here)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian drugs trial lasting more than three months and costing taxpayers over A$1 million ($947,000) has been aborted after a number of jurors were found to have spent up to half the time playing Sudoku puzzles.

Sydney District Court Judge Peter Zahra cancelled the trial of two men on drugs conspiracy charges after the jury foreperson admitted that four to five jurors had been playing the addictive number sequence game, local media reported. The judge was alerted after some of the jurors were observed writing their notes vertically, rather than horizontally. The game involves completing a grid of numbers in the correct sequence.

One juror said the game helped them to pay more attention by keeping their mind busy.

“Some of the evidence is rather drawn out and I find it difficult to maintain my attention the whole time,” the juror was quoted saying by the Australian Associated Press.

A new trial is expected to begin in a few weeks once a new jury has been called.

(Reporting by James Thornhill; Editing by Alex Richardson)