Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oscar Grant's mother shut out of courtroom proceedings today - missed the door by 1 minute!

Pictured here Cephus Johnson, Student Minister Keith Muhammad, rear-Salih Muhammad and James (8) Muhammad make an impromptu statement to the press outside of the criminal court (and below) Wanda Johnson, her brother Kenneth Johnson, and rear Melvin Muhammad)

After arriving to the courthouse just one minute after the proceedings began to select a replacement juror, Oscar Grant, III's mother, Wanda Johnson was not allowed into the courtroom to witness the selection process for another juror.

Due to medical issues facing one juror, the trial proceeds without another full day of deliberations.

One Sheriff's deputy let her in the outer foyer, but another stopped her from entering the courtroom.  "He said we'll tell you what they said.  He said they were going to only deliberate until 11-11:30 and he shut the door and went back in.  It was a full house.  It's ridiculous that I couldn't get into my own son's murder trial but that's the system," Johnson said.

The jury will be deliberating for about another hour and eight minutes.

"The Bible teaches that justice stands afar off and equity cannot enter because truth has fallen in the street.  We've waited 18 months.  We'll survive another day but we're hopeful that whoever sits on this jury will bring back a guilty verdict in 2nd degree," said Muhammad, an advisor to the family.

Allan Parachini, the court's public information director just informed the media that on Friday the jury sought clarification on provocation.  Specifically, they asked:  according to section 570 of the juror instructions we would like clarification as to provocation.  Can this provocation come from other sources other than the suspect(s).  Parachini said he could not interpret the jury's request, which came in at 3:45 on Friday.

Where this all leads he said in terms of the jury composition is, relying on seat no, stated race and stated gender, there are 4 White females, 3 White men, 3 Latinas,  0 Latino males, 1 Asian Pacific female, and 1 male declined to state (juror no 54/seat 9)

The jury is actually scheduled to deliberate until 11:45 today and further notice will be given to media.  

Min. Keith just asked how should / will the victim's family be notified, in light of Ms. Johnson being disallowed into the courtroom by one minute's time today.  Parachini said the prosecutor's responsible to notify them but he will do his best to do so; he asked for a point of contact for the family.

A post verdict news conference by court is probably in the works but he's forwarding everyone to the Alamada County District Attorney's Office.

After the verdict, the DA in Oakland will make a statement; no media availability will be made by the prosecution team here in L.A.  Parachini made it clear that he's not representing the DA's office but is only helping to coordinate media for or with them.

1 comment:

jaymeson jiles said...

i do not understand why the LA-based prosecution team would not make themselves available to the media? is that ALL media, or have they agreed to just make a statement to some? regardless of the verdict, out of courtesy, the public has the right to know and from the prosecution here in LA. where the case was tried. just further makes us feel isolated and shut out. why, after bringing the trial to L.A., would they NOT grant media availability? it's so fitting of them to direct everything back to Alameda. this back and forth is typical of bureaucratic hypocrisy.

but on more important matters....

i understand court's have schedules and that tardiness is not accepted. but one minute? i don't know what was instructed to those who were allowed to be in the courtroom, but why allow her into the foyer only to turn her away? hasn't she been through enough?

i feel for Oscar Grant's mother. all this waiting and further delays. all things are reflected by the Universe. i pray and trust that the Universe will reflect the truth and MOST of all, i pray for healing for the entire Grant-Johnson family. this has been a long ordeal for them. i have a knot in my stomach. part of that knot is all this talk about and preparation for a riot that has not even happened. what this family needs is support. it's bad enough that Ms. Johnson was not admitted into the courtroom, but to issue "we'll tell you what happens" is absurd and insulting!

just knots everywhere! anger is justified. however, i think of Wanda Johnson. my rage and heartache will never match the level of grief and agony she has endured and will endured long after this case is over. and if there is a conviction, she will have to relive again because i'm pretty sure there will be appeals. and since the defense has pointed the finger at "lack of training," then possibly a civil suit.

so i feel for Wanda Johnson. she stands with dignity and manages to show up. i think about her. i trust the Universe will reflect the truth.