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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.


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  • Johnf_max50

    cheetah_speed1

    over 4 years ago

    464 Comments

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

  • Image_max50

    usa_24

    over 4 years ago

    5022 Comments

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

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    over 4 years ago

    23296 Comments

    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

    Whalewatcher

    over 4 years ago

    11194 Comments

    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

    ill_taze_u_bro

    over 4 years ago

    2844 Comments

    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

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

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

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    buehler

    over 4 years ago

    58 Comments

    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 jury...so 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

    FireDad

    over 4 years ago

    7352 Comments

    Oh CRAP !!!!!

  • French_avatar_max50

    fletc

    over 4 years ago

    182 Comments

    "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

    Jonas

    over 4 years ago

    42238 Comments

    Hope the chocolate was worth all this.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    WASP7000,
    Yeah... The thing is too dark...
    But, the "Judge" screwed up... LOL

  • Hand_max50

    justlogic

    over 4 years ago

    178 Comments

    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

    WASP7000

    over 4 years ago

    998 Comments

    Chocolate is racist, don't eat chocolate.

  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    over 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    werid...

  • Sw12_max50

    436

    over 4 years ago

    574 Comments

    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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