Yesterday, six of the magnificent seven dressed in suits and Bill Cosby sweaters had the opportunity to study the faces of "anonymous" jurors in Judge John "Jay" Tharp's courtroom in the Dirksen Federal Building in the Hobo Trial. Last week, Judge Tharp deemed it too prejudicial to shackle the members of the Hobo super-star coalition of gangs, even though Federal Marshalls asked that they be so restrained in the interest of safety and justice. Judge Tharp took the Atticus Finch approach - the high-minded, think-out-of box, Yankee spit in the face of common sense, ACLU approved self-focus.
Far left -Judge John "Jay" Tharp nominated to the bench by Mark Kirk (R, Durbin) - Never Right
Appeals Court Chief Judge Richard Posner could not have done better than Judge Tharp and Posner is always playing Brutus, Clarence Darrow, or Larry David, in the court of public opinion (media), it seems to me.
Now, people who are doing their civic duty in the American Justice system are imperiled by Judge John " Jay" Tharp's play acting To Kill a Mockingbird.
Still, the potential jurors found themselves facing the six accused Hobo gang members in Tharp’s courtroom. The allegedly violent gang members* wore suits, dress shirts and chunky sweaters as they studied the men and women who could decide their fate. Federal prosecutors have accused the men of committing nine murders, as well as a series of brazen robberies, home invasions and other crimes.
The final group of jurors will sit through a trial that is expected to last months. . . . The judge took roughly five hours to question the first 16 potential jurors from Chicago and its suburbs — a group that included a handful of retirees, a bartender, a college student and a man who has spent nearly four decades as a puppeteer. (emphases my own)
The trial will take months - that is plural sets of four weeks. Judge Tharp is deliberate. Now, it seems to me that in a number of months the Unshackled Hobos and their families, friends and well-wishers will manage to lift the veil of anonymity from the imperiled nine good citizens and true. Notice that they Hobos studied the men and women who could decide their fate, from the get-go.
The Unshackled Hobos and the Hobo coalition will be in the unprejudiced position to nod signals and gesticulate interests in particular jurors to friends and family. It does not take a Nero Wolfe, or August Dupin to come up with an identity in this City - unless of course one might be in proximity to an old man watering his lawn when two thugs bike up and shoot him.
I would rather be Nero's Mom than a juror in the Unshackled Hobo trial in Judge John "Jay" Tharp's court.
Gee, what could possibly go wrong?
* Federal prosecutors say the Hobos, a “renegade group” of Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples and other gangs, terrorized Chicago’s South and West sides between 2004 and 2013. Among the defendants headed to trial are alleged Hobo leader Gregory “Bowlegs” Chester and alleged assassin Paris Poe.
Poe is accused of participating in the slayings of federal informant Keith Daniels and Chicago police informant Wilbert Moore. The feds also say he once threatened a police officer scheduled to testify against him, standing within two feet of the officer in a Cook County courthouse and saying, “You and the other officers will not make it to court.”