Thursday, July 25, 2024

Blatant Disrespect Or A Learning Experience: Are Second Graders Too Young To Be Jurors? You Be The Judge

We all know when you go woke, you go broke, but what we also know but never say, probably because it doesn’t rhyme, is that when you go woke, you also go bat sh*t crazy.  As usual, a judge in Oregon pulled a typical leftist move that has left a lot of people outraged.

It seems that this judge thought it would be a great idea to allow second graders to serve as special jurors in an April hit-and-run trial. Now, she is under pressure herself. District Attorney John Wentworth is the one applying it to ultra-liberal Judge Ulanda Watkins.

The Oregonian reported that Wentworth wrote a letter to Judge Michael Wetzel in early June, raising alarms about Watkins’ conduct. Wentworth wrote in the letter that during a hit-and-run trial, “a large group of second graders entered the courtroom, presumably as part of a field trip from a local elementary school, St. Johns the Apostle School.

Watkins allegedly told the kids they could help “decide what happened” in the case. In his letter, Wentworth stated that:

“The second graders were then allowed to sit in the jury box, just feet away from the defendant, and were given notepads, just like an actual sworn jury would receive.”

Wentworth wrote that the judge even told the students they could interrupt the trial if they couldn’t hear a witness.

“There was no inquiry of either party as to whether they consented to this process or consideration given to the victim who was equally confused by what was taking place.”

Now, imagine you’re in this courtroom. It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, the prosecution or the defense; to have second graders marched up into the jury box unannounced is not the time or place for an impromptu learning experience.

Still, Watkins wasn’t finished embarrassing herself. The judge had Christa Doerbeck, the certified law student who tried the case, share her opening statement and exhibits with the kids. Doerbeck later alerted the district attorney’s office about the presence of children in the jury box.

The Oregonian reported that:

“Two deputy district attorneys went to investigate and reported what they saw to Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Owen. Owen also went to the courtroom ‘where he observed twelve small children in the jury box as the trial was proceeding.’”

The children were eventually removed from the courtroom, but as Wentworth pointed out, their incursion into the courtroom could have had legal consequences.

According to The Oregonian, “Varvara represented himself in the trial.” He reportedly faced a charge of failing to perform the proper duties of a driver after an accident. “He had been accused of damaging the side view mirror of a woman’s car before leaving without exchanging insurance information.”

Although the charges seem minimal in the overall scope of things, and he was acquitted, Wentworth accurately pointed out:

“We can say with almost 100 percent certainty that had the defendant been found guilty, his conviction would have been overturned. The victim, who is a schoolteacher, felt the whole proceeding was unprofessional and confusing; a conclusion we agree with.”

He added that while he appreciates Watkins’ attempt to “educate youth about our criminal justice system,” her decision to recruit the kids for the trial “injected significant error into a proceeding that impacted the rights of both parties.”

Chief Justice Meagan Flynn reviewed the entire totally bizarre matter, immediately soft-peddling the episode and downplaying Watkins’ negligence. She replied to Wentworth that Watkins “takes seriously her relationship with the litigants who regularly appear in the courts and her reputation for fairness, as do we all.”

The Oregonian reported:

“Flynn attached a transcript of the proceedings to her response, calling it a ‘helpful starting point for a productive conversation,’” She also said that it’s not unusual for participants in a legal proceeding to ‘have different perceptions of the same events.’”

True, except by anyone’s standards, allowing seven—and eight-year-olds to act as mock jurors in an off-the-cuff decision in an actual trial, no matter how minor, can rightfully be interpreted as bizarre. Had everyone been notified ahead of time about the plan, that would have been one thing, but this was a straight-up woke decision by a woke judge that violated people’s rights. It’s no surprise that Watkins was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown, a known radical leftist.

The left is dangerously reckless, continuously acting on impulse and emotion rather than common sense. Worse, they act ignoring the rule of law, and no one holds them accountable.

This Judge’s supervisor is already defending her, meaning the left is judging themselves. That demonstrates how deeply they are embedded in all aspects of our society. The weeding-out process must begin immediately, in earnest, and without emotion. Wrong is wrong, and it’s time to stop second-guessing that obvious fact.