Crime Prosecutors: Nucera’s own words ‘demanded’ jurors to consider racial bias

17:40  17 january  2020
17:40  17 january  2020 Source:   courierpostonline.com

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Four jurors who voted to convict Frank Nucera Jr. of lying to the FBI say they were pressured to do so for fear of being called racist . Jurors who suggested the government had not proved its case were met with hostility and accusations that they were biased in favor of Nucera , according to the affidavits.

Jurors may not realize that racially biased statements are not permitted – here, for example, the juror in question was a former police officer who couched some of his statements as descriptions of his work experience – but, even if they do, may be reluctant to report such statements to the court during

CAMDEN — U.S. attorneys have scoffed at an ex-Bordentown Township police chief’s request to have his guilty conviction tossed because of alleged racial tension and bullying during jury deliberations.

In an opposition brief filed in federal court Tuesday, the government argued Frank Nucera Jr.’s motion to overturn his October conviction of lying to the FBI based on affidavits from four jurors who presided over his trial last fall should not be heard and denied.

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The juror ’ s stunning admission of racially biased views, including his view of the defendant, should In what threatens to be a grave miscarriage of justice, no court has ever considered the testimony about First, they went to see the juror the next day after reading his statements of racial bias and

Nucera ’ s attorney Rocco Cipparone, a former federal prosecutor himself, described The jurors ’ affidavits did not mention racial animus toward Nucera or any stereotypes about white The federal prosecutors also pointed out that one juror , who was accused of bringing an "anti-police” bias into

a man wearing a suit and tie: Defense attorney Rocco Cipparone Jr. reacts to trial of former Bordentown Township police chief Frank Nucera Jr. © PCHH Defense attorney Rocco Cipparone Jr. reacts to trial of former Bordentown Township police chief Frank Nucera Jr.

The ex-police chief is seeking to overturn the verdict alleging the protracted jury deliberations were tainted with racial tension, bullying and what Nucera’s attorney Rocco Cipparone alleged as improper behavior.

Prosecutors argue, however, that due to the nature of charges Nucera was facing, and the nature of jury deliberations in general, what Nucera alleges as improper behavior is exactly what jurors should have considered.

The government also argues the juror affidavits fall way short of meeting exceptions to a federal law that prohibits the admission of juror testimony in an inquiry into the validity of a verdict.

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Prosecutors and defense attorneys can use an unlimited number of “cause” challenges to eliminate jurors who aren’t qualified, able, or fit to serve in the case. In using a cause challenge, the lawyer trying to remove a juror must give a reason to believe the juror won’t be able to reach a fair verdict.

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Nucera, who retired from the force and from his job as township administrator in 2017, is accused of slamming the head of a handcuffed Timothy Stroye, who is black, into a metal door jamb at the top of a hotel stairwell during a 2016 arrest.

The Bordentown Township resident was charged with federal hate crime assault, the deprivation of civil rights and lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors argued Nucera’s alleged assault of Stroye was motivated by “deep racial animus,” and played several covert recordings made by one the township’s police officers in which Nucera can be heard using racial slurs and saying he was “getting to the point where I can shoot one of these (racial slur)” and that “Donald Trump is the last hope for white people.”

“It is thus entirely unsurprising that issues of race, jurors’ personal experiences with racism, as well as community-police relations, arose during deliberations, or that over the course of eight days, tempers flare and jurors felt pressure,” the prosecution argued in the brief. “This does not render the deliberations improper and cannot be used to attack the verdict after the fact.”

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Attorneys in California are free to strike a certain number of eligible jurors from serving for any reason at all — as long This is not the only instance of prosecutors removing Black jurors in capital cases based on suspect The U. S . Supreme Court is now considering whether it should take Smith’ s case.

"When we consider why someone has a racial bias , we often think of negative experiences he or she may have had with other-race individuals. He continued to explain that overall, the results of these studies are critically important given the issues of wide-spread racial bias and racism around the world.

Nucera was found guilty of lying to the FBI during its investigation into the incident; however, the 12-person jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision after eight days and 45 hours of deliberations on the other two charges, hate-crime assault and the violation of Stroye’s civil rights.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Kugler declared a mistrial on Oct. 11. U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced that same day his office would retry the case.

Jury selection in the retrial is set to begin on March 16.

Last week, Kugler set a Jan. 29 hearing date on Nucera’s motion.

In the motion, Cipparone cites sworn affidavits from four of the 12 jurors in Nucera’s federal trial in U.S. District Court earlier this year. Cipparone said the jurors contacted him either the day they were discharged or shortly after.

The jurors said they felt like they only had two choices — vote to convict Nucera, or be labeled a racist.

According to one juror, identified only as Juror 3, deliberations were filled with “bullying, racial tension and unfounded accusations.”

All four jurors point to one juror, a woman identified as Juror 12, as the main source of racial tension in the room.

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After the acquittal, Federal prosecutors began their own investigation into Mr. Baez' s death and indicted Mr. Livoti last January on the civil rights charge. By the end of the day, the 12 jurors included one black man, one Hispanic man and one black woman who lawyers said was also Hispanic.

“ Racially neutral” implies that the prosecutor should not consider race at all when deciding In other words , had Foster’ s attorneys not gotten their hands on the prosecution’ s notes, the outcome in In Marshall’ s estimation, the only way to eliminate racial biases in jury selection is to eliminate the use

He also argued Juror 12 was untruthful during jury selection, citing an interview with her in the Philadelphia Inquirer after the trial and a 2014 Facebook post. As a result, Cipparone argued Nucera was deprived of his right to a fair trial.

The prosecution views what allegedly happened in the deliberation room differently.

“The defendant’s own words and actions, and the charges lodged against him as a result, demanded the jurors consider ‘issues of racial bias,’” the prosecution argued.

The government also shot down Cipparone’s argument that the alleged statements made by the African American jurors during deliberations demonstrate racial animus against Nucera, who is white.

“That the African-American jurors were more offended by Nucera’s naked racism against African Americans than were some of the white jurors, which is what most of Nucera’s affidavits show here, is very different from animus against a defendant because of his race,” the government continued.

Nucera faces five years in prison for the one guilty verdict. He could face up to 20 years if found guilty of the other two charges. His sentencing for lying to the FBI is scheduled for Feb. 6. It could be postponed until after his second trial.

He remains out of custody.

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This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Prosecutors: Nucera’s own words ‘demanded’ jurors to consider racial bias

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