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The Professor Vs. The Prosecutor

Now you all know how I dislike the term “frivolous lawsuit.” But prosecutor Karen Richards is knee-deep in frivolity. karen%20richards.jpg In Allen County, Indiana, law professor Joel Schumm was ticketed for an “improper taillight.” jschumm.jpg He fought the ticket, arguing that police department guidelines called for a warning. Oh, and the officer who wrote the ticket was on drunken-driving patrol, and was required to write at least one ticket per hour.

So what happened at trial? Schumm lost, and the Judge fined him $100. And he paid the $100? Please. You know he appealed. And what happened on appeal?

jetta%20taillight.jpgThe Professor won! Per a U.S. Supreme Court case called Batson, jurors may not be removed solely based on race. The prosecutor struck the only black juror, and Schumm (who is white) objected. Well sir, the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the Professor. Said the Court:

The state did not provide a race-neutral explanation [for excusing the juror], as the trial court did not give it the opportunity… Therefore, the trial court’s rejection of Schumm’s Batson claim was clearly erroneous.

Surely the prosecutor is not going to retry this in pursuit of a $100 fine? Wrong! “We will retry the case. Why not?” was the prosecutor’s comment. BECAUSE IT’S A WASTE OF MONEY, YOUR TIME, THE COURT’S TIME, AND THE JUROR’S TIME.

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