The U.S. Supreme Court gave some important guidance today to potential jurors: think twice before giving the judge a chocolate penis. It’s also not advisable to give the bailiff a pair of chocolate breasts. Especially in a death penalty case. “The disturbing facts of this case raise serious questions concerning the conduct of the trial,” the per curiam opinion states. Really?
Not everyone agreed with the majority that the edible genitalia situation was sufficient to warrant inmate Marcus Wellons getting another chance to appeal his sentence. The four conservatives all dissented, with Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. both writing opinions.
The conduct of this particularly odd set of jurors is further explained in the majority opinion. When Wellons’ attorneys tried to contact them to find out more about the gifts and the jurors’ relationship with the court officers “they shed almost no light on what had occurred,” the opinion notes. In particular, the juror who actually gave the penis to the judge was “hostile and refused to talk.” In his dissent, Alito noted that the chocolate genitals were “strange and tasteless,” to which this blogger’s (tongue-in-cheek) response is: how does he know?