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Georgia Jury Gave Bailiff Breast-Shaped Chocolate

Georgia Jury Gave Bailiff Breast-Shaped Chocolate

The Los Angeles Times via YellowBrix

January 20, 2010

WASHINGTON – Something strange happened during the 1993 murder trial of Marcus Wellons. Outwardly, the Supreme Court observed Tuesday, the trial “looked typical.” But “there were unusual events going on behind the scenes.”

For example: The Georgia judge in the case spoke outside court to jurors who had gathered at a local restaurant. And after Wellons was convicted and sentenced to die, jurors presented the female judge with a gift of “chocolate shaped as male genitalia,” as the Supreme Court recounted it. If that were not enough, they gave the bailiff a chocolate gift “shaped as female breasts.”

Those “disturbing facts” had been cited in passing in a series of unsuccessful appeals lodged on behalf of Wellons, who came within hours of being executed in 1996 for the rape and murder of a high school girl in suburban Atlanta.

But on Tuesday, the justices said these peculiar gifts “raised serious questions concerning the conduct of the trial” and told the federal appeals court in Atlanta to look into whether there should be a hearing to delve into what happened.

The case has highlighted a serious issue: how much evidence of trial irregularities is needed for the federal courts to reopen a long-settled state criminal conviction.

The Supreme Court did not say Wellons deserved a new trial. But the majority faulted the federal judges in Atlanta for seemingly blocking a hearing where jurors could be called upon to explain what happened all those years ago.

In 1989, a witness reported seeing Wellons dragging a white sheet toward a wooded area. Police later found the body of 15-year-old India Roberts, who knew Wellons through his ex-girlfriend’s son. Roberts had been raped and strangled.

Because there has not been a hearing, it is unclear what prompted the jurors to send their unusual gifts.

“I haven’t got a clue as to what transpired. That’s what we are trying to discover,” said Mary E. Wells, an Atlanta lawyer who appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

  • Johnf_max50


    over 4 years ago


    wrong place, wrong time, but sounds like one heck of a party..

  • Image_max50


    over 4 years ago


    How inappropriate. But I don't see how this can be a racial.

  • White_shirt_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I've been to a goat roping and a cake walk and never seen anything like this. I will admit I did laugh.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    If I have read this right, the conviction is not in question. So, censure the judge, execute the killer and let's move on ....

  • Iii_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I don't think that chocolate being the medium in which these items were made of makes it racist. I do think that it is most definatly inappropriate. Should the conviction be thrown out because if this, maybe not. But if this is the type of thing that was allowed, maybe there were other things going on as well. I think that an investigation would be in order (if one hasn't been completed already) to see if there was anyother things that may bave been going on that would have tainted this decision. At the very least, remove any doubt that this is the guy and that there wasn't any jury bias.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Ummm... “evidence of the jury’s racial bias” how?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Wait..... lets stop looking at the deed for a second.. if he was convicted by a tainted jury then that would mean he MAY (not saying its true) have been wrongly convicted... It is possible how ever I would have to say I have a good doubt that every one messed up from the original officer all the way to the judges and I would say I belive him to truly be guilty. How ever I will not say that I belive he should've been denied appeals with allegations of misconduct. I belive THEY (the court system) messed up. and now if he were found to have been wrongfully convicted WE have wasted money to kill (murder) the wrong person and must find the correct individual.... hmmm but like i said I doubt the first officer on the scene messed up and the screw ups continued into the court room..

  • Radio2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Oh CRAP !!!!!

  • French_avatar_max50


    over 4 years ago


    "Chocolate is racist, don't eat chocolate"

    What if it's white chocolate?

    The whole thing is weird and undeserving of press until an inquirory has been conducted.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Hope the chocolate was worth all this.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Yeah... The thing is too dark...
    But, the "Judge" screwed up... LOL

  • Hand_max50


    over 4 years ago


    It is clearly a sign of an inappropriately close relationship between the judge,bailiff and the jury. Apparently shorts(past article reference)are inappropriate for a courtroom. Common sense right.But sexually oriented chocolates are just fine. I smell a new trial coming.

  • Washington_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Chocolate is racist, don't eat chocolate.

  • Car6_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Sw12_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Did I miss something? Was the chocolate dark or white chocolate? How is this a sign of racial bias in any way? Sounds like counsel might be a long lost relative of Sharptons.

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