A Detroit woman interviewed by prosecutors for jury duty in a rigging and conspiracy case against local businessman Bobby Ferguson was nixed from further consideration because of her “appearance,” metro Detroit TV station WXYZ reports.
Sherry Willis of Detroit says she felt uncomfortable when federal prosecutors were questioning her during the jury selection process.
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Perhaps it was because the prosecutors were uncomfortable with her. In court documents obtained by WXYZ, the prosecutors said Willis didn’t make eye contact and that she had tattoos. “They were just gawking and looking at me,” Willis said. “So I just turned my attention over to the judge. And I didn’t look at the defendants or the prosecutors.”
A legal analyst for WXYZ says that if the prosecutors didn’t feel comfortable with Willis, it is their right to dismiss her. But Willis isn’t buying it. She feels her race is what made the prosecutors uncomfortable.
“I thought it was supposed to be a jury of your peers, but the (other prospective jurors) were from all over the place; there weren’t many Detroiters, and most of them were Caucasian,” Willis said to the Detroit News.