Juror On Case Asks Governor Paterson To Pardon John White

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[Black Star News Exclusive]

The Appellate Court was cunning to state that the Trial Court's "offer to accommodate religious obligations on Sunday December 23rd 2007" cannot be regarded as coercive of the jury decision.

I will be most specific to state that it was indeed the timing of her "offer to accommodate religious obligations on Sunday December 23rd 2007" which was completely coercive of my decision. The Appellate Court saw the jury as one team playing in unison. But, this was not a sport. My team mates were my opponents.

This was a political trial; it was political in the sense that the facts didn't matter; evidently, they remain ignored. More important was whether one viewed the glass as half fill or half empty. And it was that we could argue for 4 days or 2 years and engage in all forms of name-calling.

The Trial Court's cunning ways equal the criminal perpetrators who encroached upon our family store when I was 10 years old. The objectionable statement by the Trial Court was like the brick wrapped in garbage newspaper. Perpetrator No: 1 approached the garbage bin which stood within 20 feet of my father as he bended to secure the door to our family business.

The newspaper wrapping was the guise. The brick had found it's target on the right side of my father's head; his skull bone was shattered against the brain; blood poured down his neck over his shoulders. But my father did not surrender the criminal's prize until his capacity was completely sapped. I am reliving my experience forever. I cannot forget.

Therefore, the Appellate Court's decision cannot interpret my reaction and behavior on the evening of Saturday December 22nd 2007. Psychologically naked and already engulfed with raw emotion, my environment was persistently hostile. Step into my shoes to experience my psyche. Come with me into the Trial Court so you can see all the images and understand what it's like to see your father lying in a pool of blood, the victim of a savage criminal attack on the evening of August 5th 1971. Watch him struggle on 80 feet of pavement from the door to our business in a garden apartment complex to the

roadside curb and stand helplessly with me as he collapses into the gutter and passes from consciousness.

I beg, please come with me now. I want you to see how we were escorted into the inner sanctum of Suffolk Criminal Court through the service entrance. It was like having a formal date with pristine lady justice through her bowels. The waste bins, chemical cleaners, mops, a toilet bowl with door ajar all on display. I understood from the court officer that this entrance was also reserved for the accused as they arrived from the jail next door.

Our environment was full of contaminants. Out of the freight elevator and into the winding halls of the courthouse. The barbed wire fence surrounding the jail glistened like Christmas garland in the weak winter sun. Now inside the court I can see images of the orange, white and blue flag of New York State.

See, they are the colors from the old South African flag. The court room's White spectators are seated on my right under signs which read "Whites Only". No-one else has my perspective. See the jurors and the judge, they are all deaf and blind.

By failing to communicate clearly and consistently regarding the schedule of the trial and the deliberations, the Judge also promoted further speculation and conflict among jury members. The judge's lack of information regarding the schedule of the trial; her strayed promise from "conducting court during normal business hours of the work week"; the fact that the jury had just contributed 12 hours on a Saturday and the last-minute late timing of her "offer to accommodate the jury on Sunday" was targeted like that brick wrapped in newspaper.

As a dissenting juror, I recognized that I was the obvious intended target and my decision was unquestionably abrupt. For the past 36 years the weight of my burden was already unbearable. That it was not coercive and did not constitute error is so gravely untrue in fact.

The Trial Court judge tried to legitimize our exhausting journey to a verdict. The purpose of the desperate timing of her statement was to sanction us with hardship as if to give weight to the value of our existence. On the contrary, I have since read about the signs and symptoms of a socially-embarassing non-medical condition known as "nervous breakdown".

I know that the judge and the court officer's both witnessed it and yet remain either politically silent or ignorant about it's physical signs and the effects on ones mental state of mind. Now I urge you to consider whether our jury system is really healthy when a juror "capitulates" and whether a jurors attempt to protect their human dignity is really necessary when the NY Juror Handbook already guarantees that promise in print.

The judge's objectionable statement was wrong because it was absent after the jury had earlier communicated our "not-guilty" decision on several occasions. It was also absent at the end of 3 days of deadlocked deliberation and it was also absent on the morning and afternoon of over-time deliberation on the 4th day, Saturday December 22nd 2007.

That these facts are so self-evident makes me struggle with understanding as to how the Appellate Court can be so depraved and indifferent.

As a juror, I recognize that the fine divide among wide opinion is consistently determined on how one identifies with the real "victim". Our society is in a complacent conflict because it has failed to address the fact that all crime is an assault on civilized society and all criminals are terrorists. We don't make prudent choices which are based on rational principles anymore because our judicial system is so deeply politicized.

We can debate the intensity of criminal terror to the same degree that a victim can claim suffering. Our hypocrisy doesn't recognize the effect which multiple social factors have toward contributing to crime nor does it recognize the harassment as valid even when it is reasonably regarded as such in the mindset of the beholder.

How is the larger society affected when individual behavior has been modified to avoid the daily assault on our value system? Mr. White is not a criminal any more than you or I. So we judge him not by the multiple actions that caused this tragic accident, but by the hypocrisy of our corrupt value system.

We sanction the server of the liquor and we rally with the plaintiff, but we are the rotting, stinking corpses of a decadent society for our complacency on the reckless, unreasonable and unjustifiable action of the deceased "victim". We have become the victims of our judiciary system and the public prosecutor who have pursued this case with so much political authority.

So while our judicial system will argue that manslaughter trumps all other statutory transgression, I submit that group action trumps all individual action and, clearly, while no criminal intent may have been intended by either party, the unexpected result that a tragedy actually occurred cannot be rationally dismissed as the responsibility of one person.

Now, Governor Paterson, I respectfully urge you to pardon Mr. John White. 

Francois Larche was a juror on the John White case who says he was pressured into voting to convict. He has also written to Governor Paterson, asking for him to pardon John White. He submitted this article after reading Black Star News columnist Colin Benjamin's piece, "Why Governor Paterson Should Pardon John White," July 6, 2010 http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/6670/2010-07-06.html

He told The Black Star News in an e-mail message that her received a form letter in response from the governor talking about how hard Paterson is working on economic recovery. The governor's response starts off, " My Fellow New Yorker: I'm working to get our economy back on track, and I need your help....."


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