When a San Francisco man with an alleged penchant for biting cops was tried this week for his seventh such attack, did he immediately recognize one of the potential jurors — one with perhaps a particularly judicial demeanor — from a recent visit he made to the Hall of Justice, Legal Pad wonders?
Judge Bruce Chan, who had presided over a preliminary hearing earlier this year in which the same defendant had faced similar charges, somehow made it on the man’s jury this week. In that earlier hearing, Chan had reduced the charge to a misdemeanor, said Victor Hwang, the prosecutor in the latest case.
How did Chan stay on the jury, given his prior experience?
After the jump: Dude really wanted to be on a jury ...
After a San Francisco Chronicle story appeared on Wednesday, McCarthy asked the jury on Thursday morning if any of them had seen the story, Hwang said. None said yes. McCarthy then asked again if any of the jurors knew any of the parties, and Chan raised his hand.
It turned out he recognized Hwang. So McCarthy was again satisfied that Chan didn’t remember the defendant.
Chan had said during voir dire that he wanted to serve on the jury and that he would decline to be foreman or use his special knowledge of court proceedings, Hwang said. Since the jury asked some basic legal procedural questions, he added, it’s clear that Chan played a minimal role in deliberations: “I don’t think in the end having him on made a difference either way.”
McNorton was found guilty of misdemeanor battery and two counts of resisting arrest.
Strangely enough, retired San Mateo Superior Court Judge Quentin Kopp was also a potential juror in the trial.
— Kate Moser